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Mel Tormé

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Album Review

Mel Tormé made many memorable recordings with orchestras conducted and arranged by Marty Paich during his long career, though this CD deserves wider recognition. Tormé alternates between joyful swingers and bittersweet ballads, with his golden vocals capturing the essence of every song. These 1958 sessions have their share of time-tested favorites, including "Body and Soul" and "'Round Midnight." But it is the less familiar songs, like "Gloomy Sunday" (which has been performed rarely by singers), a bluesy "The House Is Haunted (By the Echo of Your Last Goodbye)," and an especially dramatic "I Don't Want to Cry Anymore," which features a plaintive introduction backed initially only by bongos and trombone, that stand out. Just as effective is his pair of duets ("Nobody's Heart" and "I'm Going to Laugh You Right Out of My Life") with an unidentified guitarist. But the gem of the date is an extended chart of the brilliant "Blues in the Night." Highly recommended.


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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Tormé, Mel Tormé
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