22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Mel Torme: live, in a small club.... -Wow!,
This review is from: Great American Songbook (Audio CD)
The greatest "missed opportunity" regret of my life, musically speaking, was missing a chance to see Mel and his band on a Canadian tour in the late '80s. I was booked to fly to Europe five days before he would play in my home city.
This CD gives a glimpse into the amazing experience of Mr. Torme in concert, even late in his life. This was recorded in NYC at a small club where Mel had an annual standing date with a big band. As it happens, this is the disc I had playing when I logged onto this site, and as I'm sitting here listening I had to write my endorsement. Quite simply, Mel Torme is arguably the most overlooked talent in Jazz singing, and compared to some of his contemporaries (Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Joe Williams) Mel's voice has aged amazingly; his voice is different than when he was 20, but I can't say it's diminished at all. This disc showcases his effortless phrasing, impeccable intonation and timing -a real vocal showcase! Listen as he perfectly scats a Charlie Parker solo on track 14! The song selections are summed up by the album title, but really are characteristic of a typical Torme live setlist: a mix of familiar and lesser-known songs by America's great composers.
One final detail to mention: the sonic quality of this disc is outstanding! It's on the Telarc label, noted for their quality recordings, and it really showcases what a good stereo system can do; there's a palpable sense of the recording venue, with a wide, deep soundstage and distinct imaging placement of the instruments.