Up until he suffered a stroke at age 70 in 1996, singer Mel Tormé continued to improve with age and seemed to have inexhaustible energy. This four-CD set from Rhino does a fine job of covering Tormé's pre-Concord output, although the omission of his Concord work of 1986-1995 is unfortunate for that catalog contains many of Tormé's most exciting recordings. In general, the earlier selections (some of which were with his vocal group the Mel-Tones) feature Tormé on hip (for the period) swing tunes and ballads. Things greatly improve once the singer reaches the year 1975 and there are enough high points throughout the set to justify its purchase by Tormé's many fans. Three previously unreleased selections (best is "Walkin' Shoes" with Shorty Rogers in 1962) are a plus and the colorful 84-page booklet is quite definitive.
Most of Mel's recordings have come out on CD, but not these! In fact, most of these (recorded in London while he was on tour in the UK) were never issued at all in the U.S.: Limehouse Blues; Time Was; Hooray for Love; Let There Be Love; These Foolish Things; Danny Boy; Greensleeves, and more. The twenty tracks on this CD sound as fresh now as it was when it was first created over fifty years ago and serve as a wonderful tribute to the great musicians and singer who recorded them.
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. The 1960's represented a very interesting time for musicians of all genres; three particular reasons began a trend for future generations of musical artists. The Beach Boys, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones were the 3 reasons which permanently altered the musical landscape and basically made it impossible for stars of the past to remain economically viable in the present. The only 2 exceptions to the rule of course were Mel Tormé and Frank Sinatra.
50th Anniversary Commemoration Edition of the TORMÉ-PAICH legendary sessions. A milestone in the history of vocal jazz, with fully illustrated booklet (rare & unpublished photos). The definitive edition. Fascinated by the sound of the 1953 Gerry Mulligan Ten-tette, Mel Tormé had always felt that these same patterns, re-worked for the proper vocalist, could blend voice and instrument to the mutual satisfaction of both. In 1956, this idea became a reality. The task of selecting musicians who could produce this sound was given to the versatile pianist-arranger Marty Paich who, in fact, co-featured with Mel on these recordings.
This collection of Artie Shaw big band recordings comes from his brief association with the Musicraft label. Having assembled and broken up several earlier units, this edition, heard in recordings made between 1945 and 1946, is more of an arranger's band than one that features many soloists, other than the leader. During this period of Shaw's career, he was constantly changing the instrumentation of his band and making personnel substitutions. Fellow Musicraft artist Mel Tormé and his group the Mel-Tones are added on some tracks, though this was a studio relationship exclusively and they were not a part of Shaw's organization. The innovative blend of strings, voices and brass in the swinging arrangement of "What Is This Thing Called Love" is the highlight of the vocal selections, along with an updated instrumental version of the clarinetist's earlier hit, "Begin the Beguine." The only reservation about this compilation is that several tracks are abruptly faded or even truncated.