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The London Sessions

Mel Tormé

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Album Review

Mel Tormé had recorded relatively few rewarding albums in the decade before this set, originally put out by Gryphon before being reissued on CD by DCC Jazz. However, his voice had improved with time, his range had widened, and he had become an even stronger jazz singer than before. Since Tormé is joined here by the largely anonymous Chris Gunning Orchestra, with guest altoist Phil Woods, on a set of generally "contemporary" pop songs (including "All in Love Is Fair," "New York State of Mind," "Send in the Clowns" and "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face"), this set is not too essential. However, Tormé's professionalism and ability to swing makes this an interesting outing anyway, and launched his "comeback."

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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