Mel Tormé

The Complete Concord Recordings

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Beside Marty Paich, none of Mel Tormé's collaborators exerted such a large influence on the singer's career as George Shearing, the pianist whose understated, expressive accompaniment contributed to Tormé's resurgence during the early '80s. Their six excellent albums together -- two of which, An Evening With... and Top Drawer, earned Grammy awards -- proved that classic vocal music had outlasted the long night that was the '70s, and emerged to become a timeless American genre. The pair's work for Concord was usually recorded live in a trio or quartet setting; leaving much space for Shearing solos, Tormé occasionally reprised his big standards ("A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square," "Lullaby of Birdland," "The Folks Who Live on the Hill"), but often searched for more obscure material he could make his own, and often succeeded. Tormé and Shearing were restless innovators, taking on a full album of World War II standards, medleys devoted to songs about New York and by Duke Ellington, and a stunningly broad range of material: "Oleo," "Lili Marlene," "How Do You Say Auf Wiedersehen?," and "Dat Dere." The Complete Concord Recordings of Mel Tormé and George Shearing is a tight, bookbound box set, similar in style to Columbia's series of Miles Davis sets, compiling each of their six original albums onto a single CD with a seventh full of bonus tracks, many of them also live. Setting the brilliant music heard within, this set isn't much more than the sum of its parts, with only a short essay and a bare few additional photos (plus the bonus CD) tacked onto the package. If you like Mel Tormé enough to get this, you'll probably have at least a few of the albums included in this set, and little here justifies the hefty price tag.

Track Listing - Disc 7

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 02:19
2 05:11
3 02:58
4 00:11
5 03:03
6 05:35
7 04:48
8 02:58
9 05:54
10 00:39
11 02:52
12 04:26
13 02:48
14 04:42
15 00:33
16 03:48
17 02:48
blue highlight denotes track pick