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Encore At Marty's, New York

Mel Tormé

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Album Review

Mel Tormé was always at his very best in a live setting and this 1982 set is no exception, as he covers a number of favorites from the Great American Songbook, joined by pianist Mike Renzi, bassist Jay Leonhart, and drummer Donny Osborne. His weaves a bit of playful scat into "Lulu's Back in Town." He only adds slight embellishments to a lush treatment of "Sophisticated Lady," using Duke Ellington's ballad in a medley with two Harold Arlen gems ("Stormy Weather" and "When the Sun Comes Out"). Tormé's pseudo-French accent at the beginning of "Autumn Leaves" is riotous, then he works his way into Ellington's "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" in the midst of the performance. He uses a scatted take of "Manteca" to introduce "Day In, Day Out." He also revisits his emotional original ballad "I'm Gonna Miss You," which he had written in 1945 for Vic Damone, though neither Damone's record nor the composer's earlier version ever gained much notice.


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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Encore At Marty's, New York, Mel Tormé
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