Various Artists

'S Wonderful: Concord Jazz Salutes Ira Gershwin

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AllMusic Review by Michael G. Nastos

Concord Records documented many fine jazz singers in the tail end of their careers, and this collection gives listeners a taste of several, while emphasizing the classic American popular songs written by George and Ira Gershwin. There are three Rosemary Clooney selections that show she was at the top of her game until the finish line. The most precious cut is Carol Sloane's "He Loves and She Loves," Jack Sheldon does a typical slapstick version of "I Can't Get Started," while Karrin Allyson, by far the youngest vocalist on the date, scats up a storm during "'S Wonderful." Big bands back up Mel Tormé (Rob McConnell & the Boss Brass) and Ernestine Anderson (the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra), while small groups fill the rest of the bill. A notable singer still very much with us at the time of this release is Mary Stallings, who has a limited discography and needs to be discovered further. The fact that Concord was based in California lends to the breezily cool overall sound, though many of these singers lived in N.Y.C. This compilation only scratches the surface, and should prompt fans of these various singers to search for their recordings, if in fact you can find them on CD.

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