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
I love jazz because it is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.