Mel Tormé

Mellow Moods

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This is a reissue of tracks Mel Tormé cut with the Dave Barbour Four for the MacGregor Transcription Company in 1946-1947, not the late '50s as indicated in the liner notes. These were similar to recordings Tormé was making during this period (i.e., with small groups like those headed by Page Cavanaugh with play lists pretty much limited to ballad material). Tormé was still using that high, husky voice style that earned him the "Velvet Fog" sobriquet. It wasn't until a few years later, when he hooked up with Marty Paich, that he moved to the well-controlled baritone that made him one of the top pop-jazz singers during the last quarter of the 20th century. But even in the middle '40s, one hears his enormous feel for the lyrics and the truly unique way he had in delivering a song and, of course, his perfect pitch. Around this time, guitarist Barbour had been spending considerable time backing his wife, Peggy Lee, so there were no barriers limiting his ability to provide Tormé with superb support. Although both artists are in fine form, there is less than a half hour of music on this CD. Some tracks are little more than musical snippets. Moreover, Tormé was to record most of these tunes again later in his career. Consequently, this album will mostly interest Tormé completists.

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