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Christmas Songs

Mel Tormé

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Album Review

Because Mel Tormé co-wrote "The Christmas Song," it was a surprise to many of his fans that when he recorded this full-length Christmas album for Telarc in 1992, it was his first. Since he is backed by a large orchestra (conducted by Keith Lockhart) in addition to his regular trio and the emphasis is on ballad renditions, Tormé does not get many opportunities to scat and swing on this pleasing but unadventurous set. However, the 16-track album, which includes several medleys and a pair of instrumentals for the orchestra, features tasteful and melodic Tormé interpretations of 20 Christmas-associated songs, and the album is worthwhile, if not essential.

Biography

Born: September 13, 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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Christmas Songs, Mel Tormé
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