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Mel Tormé and the Marty Paich Dek-Tette (Remastered 2013)

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iTunes Review

Mel Tormé was reaching his artistic peak when he cut his classic string of albums with The Marty Paich Dek-Tette for the indie label Bethlehem Records in the mid-'50s. The second of these recordings remains among the most admired in Tormé's early discography. Though the singer's famous sobriquet was The Velvet Fog, on these sessions he's more like a velvet arrow; despite his luxurious tone, he darts in and out of the arrangements with an unerring trenchancy. Torme, who was in his 30s at the time, was influenced by the West Coast "cool jazz" movement that was then all the rage. There's definitely a touch of cool to his deceptively offhand-sounding phrasing on "Lulu's Back in Town" and "The Lady Is a Tramp," especially when Paich's band put their archly swinging riffs behind him. But Tormé has a foot set solidly in the romantic-balladeer mode too, and when he lays a tender trap with his seductively soft-pedaled approach on "Keeping Myself for You" and "When April Comes Again," he sounds like as much of a kindred spirit to Frank Sinatra as he does to cool-jazz king Chet Baker.

Customer Reviews

“Lullaby of Birdland” is Superb Scatting!

I’ve always felt this recording of George Shearing’s “Lullaby of Birdland” is perfection. Great chart, great singing, and some of Mel’s unique scat singing. Tasteful and sublime.


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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