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Blue Rose is the debut studio album by Rosemary Clooney, accompanied by Duke Ellington and his orchestra, released in mono on Columbia Records, catalogue CL 872. Although she had appeared on albums before, it had been in the context of either a musical theater or multiple artist recording. The album also marked the return of Ellington to Columbia after an absence of four years, and was one of the first examples of overdubbing being used as an integral part of the creation, rather than for effects or to correct mistakes.

“Rosemary Clooney may have seemed to be a surprising choice to be featured with Duke Ellington & His Orchestra, but this collaboration is extremely successful in spite of the fact that Clooney was unable to join the band in the studio due to complications of a very difficult pregnancy. The solution was for the band to record the music (after Billy Strayhorn made the first of several trips to Los Angeles to consult with her). The results are stunning and not in the least bit canned, due to the professionalism of all parties involved and a stellar engineering of the separately recorded tracks. Clooney swings throughout “Me and You” and “It Don’t Mean a Thing” without excess, her wordless vocal on “Blue Rose,” and a captivating “Mood Indigo” are among the many highlights. The sound on this Legacy series reissue is greatly improved over the earlier Mobile Fidelity CD, plus there are two tracks added, the obscure but appealing “If You Were in My Place (What Would You Do?)” and “Just a-Sittin’ and a-Rockin’,” that were only issued as a single and omitted from the original release. It’s a pity that the collaboration of Rosemary Clooney and Duke Ellington was only a one-shot deal, as she easily ranks as one of the greatest vocalists to appear on record with the maestro.” – Ken Dryden/AllMusic.

Track listing:
Side one
1. “Hey Baby” Duke Ellington 3:53
2. “Sophisticated Lady” Duke Ellington, Irving Mills, Mitchell Parish 2:57
3. “Me and You” Duke Ellington 2:28
4. “Passion Flower” Billy Strayhorn, Milton Raskin (lyrics) 4:33
5. “I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart” Duke Ellington, Irving Mills, Henry Nemo, John Redmond 2:37
6. “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” Duke Ellington, Irving Mills 2:48

Side two
1. “Grievin'” Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn 4:20
2. “Blue Rose” Duke Ellington 2:21
3. “I’m Checkin’ Out – Goombye” Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn 3:09
4. “I Got It Bad (and That Ain’t Good)” Duke Ellington, Paul Francis Webster 3:07
5. “Mood Indigo” Duke Ellington, Barney Bigard, Irving Mills 6:28

Personnel:
Rosemary Clooney – vocals
Duke Ellington – piano
Billy Strayhorn – arranger, conductor
Cat Anderson, Willie Cook, Ray Nance, Clark Terry – trumpets
Quentin Jackson, Britt Woodman – trombones
John Sanders – valve trombone
Russell Procope – alto saxophone, clarinet
Johnny Hodges – alto saxophone
Jimmy Hamilton – tenor saxophone, clarinet
Paul Gonsalves – tenor saxophone
Harry Carney – baritone saxophone
Jimmy Woode – bass
Sam Woodyard – drums

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Released: May 21, 1956
Recorded: January–February 1956
Length: 39:04
Label: Columbia
Producer: Irving Townsend