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One Hour With Mel Tormé

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Album Review

It's unclear what the title Again refers to on this Jazz Hour compilation, though it could be the label's acknowledgment that this is hardly the debut of this material (a landmark 50th re-release is much more likely). That said, it's a tremendously enjoyable collection of performances from that period in the mid-to-late '40s when Mel Tormé — for the only time in his career — actually deserved the nickname of the "Velvet Fog." His brooding, melancholy performances of "A Stranger in Town" (with the Mel-Tones ably assisting), "Born to Be Blue," and "A Cottage for Sale" are masterpieces that prove the validity of male torch songs. Tormé actually contributes a wide range of material here, including another excellent Mel-Tones appearance on the breezy, up-tempo "How High the Moon," and his biggest early hit, "Careless Hands." The compilation wraps up with a brief glimpse of the genesis of an artist at work, with a song ("Got the Gate on the Golden Gate") taken from his 1949 concept album, Mel Tormé's California Suite, Rovi


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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One Hour With Mel Tormé, Mel Tormé
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