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Mel Tormé, Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass

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Album Review

This was a very logical matchup that came out as well on record as it looked on paper. Valve trombonist/arranger Rob McConnell has long led one of the top mainstream jazz big bands, while Mel Tormé blossomed into one of the truly great jazz singers in the 1980s. McConnell's charts suited Tormé perfectly, and the result is this consistently enjoyable and swinging album. The singer is quite enthusiastic and in top form on "Just Friends," a touching "September Song," "Don't 'Cha Go 'Way Mad," "A House Is Not a Home," "The Song Is You," a whimsical "Cow Cow Boogie," a "Stars" medley, and an exciting six-song Duke Ellington medley. Highly recommended.

Customer Reviews

The Velvet Fog at His Best

This album is just magical. Mel Torme' heard the Boss Brass at a record store (remember those?) and contacted them to say he loved their sound. This is the first of their two collaborations and their best. If you ever wondered what they meant by Mel Torme' being called the Velvet Fog, just listen to A Handful of Stars. Buy This Album- you will not regret it.


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...
Full Bio
Mel Tormé, Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass, Mel Tormé
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