/Duke Ellington & His Orchestra.
This 1999 reissue contains two bonus tracks.
Personnel: Rosemary Clooney (vocals); Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn (arranger, piano); Russell Procope (alto saxophone, clarinet); Johnny Hodges (alto saxophone); Jimmy Hamilton, Paul Gonzalves (tenor saxophone); Harry Carney (baritone saxophone, bass clarinet); Cat Anderson, Willie Cook, Ray Nance, Clark Terry (trumpet); Jimmy Woode (bass); Sam Woodyard (drums).
Producer: Irving Townsend.
Reissue producers: Didier C. Deutsch, Charles L. Granata, Darcy M. Proper.
Engineers include: Fred Plaut, Robert Waller.
Recorded at CBS 30th Street Studios, New York, New York on January 23 & 27, 1956 and CBS Studios, Los Angeles, California on February 8 & 11, 1956. Includes liner notes by Irving Townsend and Will Friedwald.
Digitally remastered by Darcy M. Proper (Sony Music Studios, New York, New York).
One of the great crimes in the annals of the music business was Columbia producer Mitch Miller's insistence that his star singer Rosemary Clooney record pop dreck like "Mambo Italiano" and "This Ole House" when he had her under his thumb in the early '50s. Well, Ms. Clooney survived these and other indignities to record one of the classiest vocal albums of the '50s, a collaboration with Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn called BLUE ROSE. Duke Ellington is not particularly known for his vocalists, though his band featured several fine ones over the years, including the underrated Ivy Anderson and Al Hibbler.
Not only is BLUE ROSE Rosemary Clooney's best album, it is also a great Duke Ellington record. Clooney reprises many of the songs Ivy Anderson introduced, like the famous "I Got it Bad (And That Ain't Good)" and obscure gems like "Me and You" and "I'm Checkin' Out, Goombye." But it is her heartfelt interpretations of the classics "Sophisticated Lady" and "Mood Indigo" that restore new-found meaning to lyrics and melodies long taken for granted. A bonus is a superbly recorded band-only take on Strayhorn's "Passion Flower," featuring a sublime Johnny Hodges.
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