Mel Tormé

Two Darn Hot: A Night at the Concord Pavilion/Live at the Fujitsu-Concord

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AllMusic Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.

Someone at Concord has come up with an excellent idea: Why not reissue two classic discs by an artist in one package? Two Darn Hot holds two discs by Mel Tormé released in 1990, Night at the Concord Pavilion and Recorded Live at the Fujitsu Concord Jazz Festival in Japan. Together, these albums deliver an hour-and-a-half of prime Tormé, singing over 20 classics backed intermittently by a small band and a full orchestra. Highlights from the first disc include "Guys and Dolls Medley" and two upbeat burners, "Too Darn Hot" and "Day in -- Day Out." The full band offers lots of pizzazz on numbers like "You're Driving Me Crazy (What Did You Do)" and "Down for Double," presenting an engaging contrast to the quieter material. If one enjoys these selections, one will be doubly pleased with the second disc, which delivers more of the same. There's an outstanding version of "Star Dust," and if one happens to be in a holiday mood, a fine rendition of "The Christmas Song" combined with "Autumn Leaves." The set closes with fun versions of "Swingin' the Blues" and "New York State of Mind." The first of these, interestingly, is an instrumental that finds Tormé more than holding his own behind the drum set. The closer amusingly exchanges "Tokyo" for "New York," more than fitting for the occasion. Two Darn Hot serves as a nice representation of Tormé's work with Concord and is sure to please discerning fans.

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