Mel Tormé

The Very Best of Mel Tormé

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Although on the surface it doesn't look very different from the dozens of Mel Tormé compilations available at any one time, the Rhino U.K. release The Very Best of Mel Tormé is easily the best single volume on Tormé ever done. Spanning the '40s to the '80s (which is a real rarity in the world of Tormé), it balances his hits and his best material, adds in the best of his live performances, and appropriately, spends the most time on his career-defining work of the '50s and '60s (when he was recording for Bethlehem, Verve, and Atlantic). The major chart entries of his career, "Careless Hands" and "Comin' Home Baby," are here, as are the best inclusions from iconic LPs like Lulu's Back in Town and fantastic live set pieces like "Mountain Greenery" and "It's Delovely." A bit of his '70s material is also included to show that Tormé was still doing great work during his forgotten decade, and his renaissance of the '80s is covered with "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" (featuring George Shearing). If there's one caveat, it's that Rhino focused more on his Atlantic catalog than the Verve years (which would have required more licensing), but it's a small one -- this is an excellent look at Mel Tormé, and the only better career-spanning compendium is the massive four-disc box The Mel Tormé Collection.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 3:06
2 3:15
3 2:30
5 2:59
6 3:20
7 2:29
8 2:22
9 2:58
10 2:29
11 2:23
12 3:52
13 2:26 Amazon
14 2:42
15 2:14
17 2:18
18 4:26
19 3:47
20 15:25
21 5:01 Amazon
22 2:46
blue highlight denotes track pick