How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
This 1961 reissue features the late Mel Torme accompanied by three London-based orchestras, led respectively by Geoff Love, Tony Osborne, and Wally Stott. It stands apart from scores of other jazz vocal albums in that nearly half the program consists of Torme’s original songs. The remaining tunes are by Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz, including a frenetic, conga-driven "You and the Night and the Music," a sumptuous "Alone Together," and the toe-tapping, irrepressible finale, "A Shine on Your Shoes."
Torme’s voice is as smooth as silk, almost schmaltzy at times, but infectious and alluring all the same. His writing ranges quite widely. The borderline-sappy, Norman Rockwell imagery of "County Fair" could almost be mistaken for a parody. And "The Christmas Song," an undisputed Torme classic ("Chestnuts roasting..."), conveys a similar sense of innocence. On the other hand, there’s a pervasive sense of melancholy coursing through "I Guess I’ll Have to Change My Plan," "Born to Be Blue," and "Welcome to the Club," giving Torme’s writing an emotional depth that counterbalances his happy-go-lucky side.
Track Listing: 1. You and the Night and the Music 2. A Stranger In Town 3. I Guess I