Rosemary Clooney

Let It Snow

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The term Christmas music can be used to describe a wide variety of songs. It can mean anything from European Yuletide carols to Spanish-language songs that are heard all over Latin America. In the English-speaking world, Christmas songs range from traditional carols that were written in England, Ireland, and Scotland centuries ago to American pop standards that weren't written until the 20th century; the latter is Rosemary Clooney's focus on Let It Snow. This collection of Concord recordings, which North Star Music assembled in 2001, is devoted to the American Christmas tradition; the veteran pop singer doesn't get into centuries-old European carols like "God Rest Ye, Merry Gentleman." And Clooney is perfect for the job; she has a vast knowledge of the 20th century pop standards that are often referred to as The Great American Songbook. On this CD, she turns her attention to the Christmas-oriented side of that songbook, which means embracing familiar tunes like "Winter Wonderland," "Let It Snow," "I'll Be Home for Christmas," "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," and "White Christmas" -- standards that are inescapable in North America during the holidays. Clooney was never really a jazz singer, although her performances of these Christmas standards are enjoyable examples of jazz-influenced pop. Unfortunately, North Star Music doesn't bother to provide recording dates or list the musicians who back Clooney, and if you fancy yourself a serious collector or a connoisseur, that type of laziness is inexcusable. Even so, this is a pleasant, if less than essential, collection. Those who like traditional jazz-influenced pop and American Christmas standards should have no problem getting into Let It Snow.

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