Mel Tormé

I Can't Give You Anything But Love

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The back cover of this Mel Tormé compilation from the Rajon label boasts "Recordings by Original Artist." A high claim indeed, and one that's borne out by each of these 20 tracks. No more information is given about the recordings, however, which date from the mid-to-late '40s, around the time of Tormé's hit "Careless Hands" (not included here). The sound is rather dim, even for music of WWII-era vintage, but the material is excellent. The singer appears both solo and leading the Mel-Tones, stretching out his gauzy high tenor over the melancholy chestnuts "What Is This Thing Called Love?," "Little White Lies," and "How Long Has This Been Going On?." Tormé the swinger is in evidence as well, with an ebullient performances on "It Happened in Monterey" and "I Got the Sun in the Morning." Look to the ASV collection The Velvet Fog for the best, most complete look at this era in the career of vocal music's finest craftsmen.

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