Mel Tormé was always at his very best in a live setting and this 1982 set is no exception, as he covers a number of favorites from the Great American Songbook, joined by pianist Mike Renzi, bassist Jay Leonhart, and drummer Donny Osborne. His weaves a bit of playful scat into "Lulu's Back in Town." He only adds slight embellishments to a lush treatment of "Sophisticated Lady," using Duke Ellington's ballad in a medley with two Harold Arlen gems ("Stormy Weather" and "When the Sun Comes Out"). Tormé's pseudo-French accent at the beginning of "Autumn Leaves" is riotous, then he works his way into Ellington's "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" in the midst of the performance. He uses a scatted take of "Manteca" to introduce "Day In, Day Out." He also revisits his emotional original ballad "I'm Gonna Miss You," which he had written in 1945 for Vic Damone, though neither Damone's record nor the composer's earlier version ever gained much notice.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden