In 1998, Rhino did Mel Tormé fans a favor by packaging onto CD (for the first time) the two live dates Tormé recorded for Atlantic, 1962's Mel Tormé at the Red Hill and 1974's Live at the Maisonette. Since he thrived in a concert setting, these two LPs -- the first with a trio, the second with a full orchestra -- are great selections for those anxious to investigate beyond masterpieces like Sings Fred Astaire and Swings Shubert Alley. From his uproarious extension of "It's Delovely" and "Anything Goes" on the earlier set to a 17-song, 15-minute celebration of George Gershwin on the second, Tormé is at his best entertaining crowds, and the energy can't help but spill over onto the recording. With "the Velvet Fog" likely not delivering any more roof-raising performances this side of the pale, Mel Tormé at the Red Hill/Live at the Maisonette is one of the best ways to get a feeling for what it must've been like.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by John Bush