CD: Sue Raney

Sue Raney, Heart’s Desire: A Tribute To Doris Day (Fresh Sound).Raney.gif
Sue Raney is hardly without a following, but it is a puzzle why a singer of her gifts never achieved widespread fame. For far too long, general audiences have been unaware of Raney’s sublime work. Happily, EMI recently reissued All By Myself, one of her early Capitol albums. She seldom makes new recordings, and most of her reissued albums are on CDs that are hard to find except as imports. Since the death of Albert Marx and the end of his Discovery label, American companies have missed the boat on this exemplary artist. Raney’s new Doris Day tribute is one of the best albums of her career. The Spanish label Fresh Sound recorded it last fall in Los Angeles with a full orchestra arranged and conducted by Alan Broadbent.
Day was in the last wave of quality popular singers blessed with good material, and Raney makes the most of “Secret Love,” “Love Me Or Leave Me” and twelve other songs. A singer who has achieved technical perfection that encompasses tonal accuracy and range into the stratosphere, she provides a moment of thrilling vocalese when she parallels the lead trumpet in an interlude on “Sentimental Journey.” For the most part, however, she just sings the songs, and sings them superlatively. Her treatment of “Shanghai” (“I’m just around the corner in a phone booth….”) is a joy. But then, so is the entire CD. Broadbent’s arrangements perfectly complement Raney. There are succinct solos by Broadbent at the piano, Carmen Fanzone (Raney’s husband) on fluegelhorn and saxophonists Bob Sheppard and Gary Foster. Doris Day did not record Broadbent’s and Dave Frishberg’s “Heart’s Desire,” a modern ballad that equals the best of the great American song book, but Raney’s version dedicated to Ms. Day is likely to steal your heart.
To hear and see Raney as guest vocalist with a latterday Stan Kenton band, go here for “Let There Be Love” and “I Got It Bad And That Ain’t Good.” There is nothing wrong with your computer; the clip is black and white.

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  1. not a stryker says

    Carmen Fanzone – as in the trumpet-playing 3rd baseman for the Chicago Cubs probably in the late 1970’s?
    Had not heard that name in years!
    (The same Carmen Fanzone. For many years, he has been the American Federation of Musicians Los Angeles Local 47 business representative for films, videotape and symphonic recording. And married to Sue Raney. What a guy.– DR)

  2. Jerry Bogner says

    When I’m home and circumstances afford me the luxury of listening to the music I love without outside influences, there is a small number of jazz artists who get a large amount of my time. Up until about two years ago I didn’t expect to add any names to my list, but then along came Sue Raney.
    I find it an Existential absurdity that Sue Raney is not well known.
    In the NYC region, where I live, almost every person to whom I’ve introduced her music reacts this same astonished way:
    “Oh my!”. I just hope some day we’ll get the once in a life time treat of Sue Raney performing here.
    I can’t help wondering if Paul Desmond would have dug her.

  3. Doug Stoneburner says

    I saw Her for the 1st time on TV , she blew my mind with her rendition of Dreamsville, she has the finest Jazz Voice of any female I have ever heard !!!