Mel’s hip. Period. There’s not a kitsch bone in his body. The television show Night Court did him the greatest disservice by focusing its boob-tube pop sensibilities upon him. Or perhaps, without the blessings of the tragically un-cool keepers of popular culture, many would never get the chance to hear the “Velvet Fog.” The latest word is Kenny G is working on a jazz standards record. But I digress. This recording is Torme’s first with Marty Paich’s Dek-tette, a ten piece group that included saxophonists Bud Shank, Jack Montrose and Bob Cooper, drummer Mel Lewis, bassist Red Mitchell and trumpeter Pete Candoli. Recorded in 1956, the Dek-tette was a rival to Gerry Mulligan’s Tentet and Miles Davis’ Nonet large ensembles. Like their contemporaries, Torme/Paich stick to a coolness, a quiet use of the large ensemble, sprinkled with French horn and tuba. For his part Torme was at the height of his '50's powers on this recording. “Lullaby Of Birdland” begins as a duo with Red Mitchell’s bass, turns into a wondrous scat, call and response with the band. This long out-of-print recording is certainly welcomed back into listening circles.
Track List:Lulu’s Back In Town; When The Sun Comes Out; I Love To Watch The Moonlight; Fascinating Rhythm; The Blues; The Carioca; The Lady Is A Tramp; I Like To Recognize The Tune; Keeping Myself For You; Lullaby Of Broadway; When April Comes Again; Sing For Your Supper.
I love jazz because it swings.
I was first exposed to jazz in Houston.
I met Joe LoCascio and Bob Henschen.
The best show I ever attended was Pat Martino.
The first jazz record I bought was Time Out by the Dave Brubeck Quartet.
My advice to new listeners is to relax on 2 and 4 beats.