Entertainment Weekly - 1/10/03, p.71
"...Final testaments don't get much more satisfying than this 2001 Honolulu gig that ended up being the 73-year-old "girl singer's" swan song..." - Rating: A
Personnel: Rosemary Clooney (vocals); Matt Catingub (conductor, alto saxophone, piano); Albert Alva, Jeff Prinz (alto saxophone); Matt Cowan (tenor saxophone); Jennifer Lovejoy (baritone saxophone); Dave Scott, Tony Bonsera, Mike Olmos (trumpet); Doug Beavers, Greg Saul (trombone); Dan Parenti (bass); Stephen Moretti (drums); Honolulu Symphony Orchestra.
Recorded live at the Neal. S. Blaisdell Concert Hall, Honolulu, Hawaii on November 16, 2001. Includes liner notes by Allen J. Sviridoff.
THE LAST CONCERT was nominated for the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album.
Personnel: Ignace Jang, Naomi Guy, Joan Hayden, Gregory Wrenn, Laurilyn Krantz, Katherine Hafner, Amanda Schubert, Maile Reeves, Iolani Yamashiro, Jason Pell, Sheryl Shohet, Rami Gepner, Keiko S. Zou, Janet Dubay, Arlene Koh, Claire Sakai-Hazzard, Fumiko Wellington, Helen Higa, Timothy Leong, Danny Padilla, Hung Wu, Judy Barrett (violin); Sandra Wong, Jean Michel Jacquon, Steve Flanter, Teresa Skinner, William Bailey, Melvin Whitney, Anna Womack, Mark Butin (viola); Nancy Masaki, Andrew Eckhard, Louise Kefford Ching, Joanna Fleming, Karen Fujimoto, Gregory Dubay, Susie Lee, Pauline Bai, John Ryan Gallagher, John Kolivas, Karen Bechtel (cello); Laurie Lake (flute, piccolo); Emma Moon, Susan McGinn (flute); Laurel Hall (clarinet, bass clarinet); Robert Larm (clarinet, e flat clarinet); Norman Foster, James Moffitt, Scott J. Anderson (clarinet); Jasob Lichtenwalter (oboe, English horn); Nancy Dimock, Scott Janusch (oboe); Philip Gottling (bassoon, contrabassoon); Marsha Schweitzer, Paul H. Barrett (bassoon); Matt Catingub (alto saxophone, piano); Jeff Prinz, Albert Alva (alto saxophone); Matt Cowan (tenor saxophone); Jennifer Lovejoy (baritone saxophone); Michael Zonshine, Tony Bonsera, Kenneth Hafner, Dave Scott, Mike Olmos (trumpet); Greg Saul, James T. Decker, Eric Mathis, Doug Beavers (trombone); David Saltzman (tuba); Wade Butin, George Warnock, Michiko Singh, Ken Friedenberg, Jonathan Parrish, Eric Kop (horns); Beebe Freitas, Nyle Hallman (keyboards); Steve Moretti (drums); Stephen Dinion (timpani, percussion); Stuart Chafetz (timpani); Riely Francis, James Lee Wyatt III (percussion).
Audio Mixers: Leslie Ann Jones; Matt Catingub.
Liner Note Author: Allen Sviridoff.
Recording information: Neal S. Blaisdell Concert Hall, Honolulu, HI (11/16/2001).
Editor: Andr‚ Zweers.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Carolyn Berry; Steve Bloom.
Arrangers: John Oddo; Matt Catingub.
Recorded at the end of a Hawaiian vacation that proved to be her last, this live document is as much a display of Rosemary Clooney's onstage rapport with her audience as of her vocal skills, honed over the previous half-century, as she makes droll quips ande wryly name-checks actor George Clooney (she was his aunt).
There's an energetic version of "Old Man River" that positively crackles with excitement, and a poignant tribute to Frank Sinatra in "The Singer," composed by Clooney's drummer, Joe Cocuzzo, followed by an equally moving version of George Gershwin's "They Can't Take That Away From Me." But though THE LAST CONCERT was recorded just a couple of months after 9/11 ("God Bless America" is an affecting finale), and Clooney was to succumb to cancer seven months later, there's no sense of pathos here. Rather, one gets the lasting impression that singer, band, and audience are simply having the time of their lives.