VOICES Notes and news on Jazz Vocals releases
28 JAN 08 ANNE FARNSWORTH
Just in time for Valentine's Day, Concord's latest For Lovers series releases Mel Tormé Sings For Lovers, a compilation of classic love songs interpreted by Mel Tormé, one of the most romantic voices in the business.
Tormé had it all -- chops, the experience of a lifetime on the stage and the gravitas of solid musicianship. But he leavened it with a whimsical sense of humor that could pop the lyric of a serious standard with an unexpected twist. Most singers are content to simply "get no kick from a plane." Tormé gets no kick from "being thrown from a plane" going on to add, "a 1,000-foot fall" doesn't thrill him at all.
The 13 cuts on this CD are culled from classic Tormé collaborations, the most famous being his work with George Shearing. The two men seemed to be of one musical mind, never more so than in their classic duet recordings, one of which, "My Foolish Heart," is included, as is "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To" with bassist Brian Torff. Cuts with Marty Paich and Tormé's own long-time trio are also featured.
Lest we get too languorous feeding our sweethearts strawberries and champagne, Rob McConnell's Boss Brass, the muscle car of the musical world, steps in to add some high-octane energy to fuel the romantic mood. After recording with the Toronto-based big band, Tormé remarked, "Making this record was one of the two or three greatest musical experiences in my long and checkered career." The album arrives in stores Feb. 5.