Mel Torme/Marty Paich Dek-'tette: In The Studio And In Concrt
With a career spanning nearly fifty-years the singer/drummer/composer/arranger saved much of his best for the last decade of his life. He co-wrote “The Christmas Song” at age 19, and was a star for most of his 74 years. Torme made some exciting music with Marty Paich’s orchestra in the mid-fifties and much of it has been re-issued on Bethlehem Records. He returned to Paich’s Dek-Tette for a session and tour in the late-1980s. The two records produced for Concord, Reunion and In Concert Tokyo are reissued here.
Paich’s arrangements make for a tight-swinging affair. His augmented (by percussionists) 11-piece band includes the West Coast trumpeter Jack Sheldon, saxophonist Ken Peplowski, and drummer Jeff Hamilton. The band takes on a couple of Donald Fagan (of Steely Dan) compositions. That is, Paich with the Velvet Fog’s voicing turn pop into jazz. They even conquer Chick Corea’s “Spain.” But what stands out in both the studio session and the live date is the delight of Torme’s delivery. Fifty years of seemingly effortless elocution was his life’s work. In Japan he sang “The Christmas Song” probably for the millionth time, yet I’d rather hear Mel than any of those flavor-of-the-week ‘stars’ that appeared on television last month. Few singers have the presence Torme had fronting a large ensemble. His voice and career are larger than life.
Track Listing: Sweet Georgia Brown; Walk Between The Raindrops; When You Wish Upon A Star/I
Personnel: Mel Torme
Record Label: Concord Music Group