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At the Crescendo

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Album Review

More than two years after recording his first-ever concert LP, Live at the Crescendo for Coral, Mel Tormé returned to the Los Angeles nightclub for the Bethlehem release At the Crescendo, cut February 22, 1957. Backed by a small combo comprised of pianist/arranger Marty Paich, trumpeter Don Fagerquist, vibraphonist Larry Bunker, bassist Max Bennett, and drummer Mel Lewis, Tormé approaches familiar material like "One for My Baby," "It's Only a Paper Moon," and "I'm Beginning to See the Light" with a matchless combination of sensitivity and sass — as always, Paich's nimble arrangements inspire Tormé's most adventurous vocals, and the sheer imagination and soulfulness on display throughout the set laid to rest any lingering question of whether he was a jazz artist or merely an easy listening balladeer.

Biography

Born: 13 September 1925 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Mel Tormé was a jazz-oriented pop singer who worked at his craft steadily from the '40s to the '90s, primarily in nightclubs and concert halls. In his 1988 autobiography, It Wasn't All Velvet (its title a reference to his nickname, "The Velvet Fog," bestowed upon him by a disc jockey in the '40s to describe his husky, wide-ranging voice), he mentioned a wish that he had been born ten years earlier, that is, in 1915 rather than 1925. If he had had his wish, Tormé would have been an exact contemporary...
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At the Crescendo, Mel Tormé
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