Mel Tormé

Songs for Any Taste

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Mel Tormé recorded a number of lovely albums for Bethlehem during the '50s, including It's a Blue World and Sings Fred Astaire. Consisting of a few studio sides interspersed with material recorded live at the Crescendo in February of 1957, Songs for Any Taste finds Tormé asserting himself with confidence and style. Pianist/leader Marty Paich offers beautifully understated arrangements, featuring trumpeter Don Fagerquist and accordion player Larry Bunker. The set is heavy with lesser-known standards from Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hart, and the Gershwins. Tormé begins the set with a "French" version of "Autumn Leaves," complete with a fake accent that serves to warm up the audience. "I Wish I Were in Love Again" and "It's Delovely" are two upbeat knockouts, while "Tenderly" proceeds at a more languorous pace. The background singing and formal arrangements of "I Got Plenty O' Nuttin'" mark it as a studio track, but quality-wise, it fits in well with the other material. The quiet "Nobody's Heart" closes the set, a moody late-night piece with piano accompaniment. This is a beautiful set, with great songs, in-between chatter, and sympathetic backing.

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