105

Mel Torme/Marty Paich Dek-'tette: In The Studio And In Concrt

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
As a fan of today’s free jazz, I must admit an unashamed devotion to several artists considered square (O.K. draw the box with your fingers). Growing up with my parents favorites Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, and Mel Torme their music made an indelible impression somewhere deep in my brain. Long after my parents stopped buying 78s and LPs, I cheered the resurgence of Torme and Bennett’s careers. But where Tony was more a pop singer (a vocal forerunner of Bruce Springsteen), Mel was a jazz singer. The ease of his delivery was as comforting as home cooking.

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 | Style: Vocal


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "A Multitude of Angels" CD/LP/Track Review A Multitude of Angels
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 30, 2016
Read "Koan" CD/LP/Track Review Koan
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 12, 2016
Read "Rope" CD/LP/Track Review Rope
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 6, 2016
Read "New York Connections" CD/LP/Track Review New York Connections
by David A. Orthmann
Published: September 18, 2016
Read "It's Time" CD/LP/Track Review It's Time
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: August 31, 2016
Read "Three Octaves Above The Sun" CD/LP/Track Review Three Octaves Above The Sun
by James Nadal
Published: August 1, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!