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Swings Shubert Alley
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
Chicago-born Mel Torme, affectionately nicknamed "The Velvet Fog" for his atmospheric, languorous vocal delivery, was a screen actor and stage performer as well as a singer in his early days, before pursuing music fulltime... more »
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Amazon.com essential recording
Chicago-born Mel Torme, affectionately nicknamed "The Velvet Fog" for his atmospheric, languorous vocal delivery, was a screen actor and stage performer as well as a singer in his early days, before pursuing music fulltime after World War II. Inevitably Torme's crooner-based style was compared to Frank Sinatra's, but such comparisons were superficial. Torme is the complete jazz singer on the 1960 classic Swings Shubert Alley, accompanied by an excellent band, featuring Art Pepper on alto saxophone and Mel Lewis on drums, playing pianist Marty Paich's arrangements of such Broadway classics as "Old Devil Moon," "On the Street Where You Live," and "Surrey with the Fringe on Top." --John Swenson
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Not Your Father's Mel Torme
D. Mataconis | Bristow, Virginia | 09/17/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I must admit that I wasn't much of a Mel Torme fan before I picked this album up at the recommendation of a friend who took it upon themselves to give me an education in the finer points of jazz vocalists. Mostly, that was because of judgments I made based on Mel's popular image which, during the time I was growing up (and as someone else has pointed out) was essentially limited to appearances on "Night Court" and "The Christmas Song" Besides, I was more of a Sinatra fan and Mel seemed, well, just a little wimpy......I admit now that I was wrong.This album is simply spectacular. Marty Paich's arrangements are superb and Mel's singing is beyond compare. On this album, and throughout his career, Mel Torme differentiated himself from singers like Sinatra and Tony Bennett in that he made it seem that his voice was just an other instrument in the band, and that style is readily apparent here in songs like "Too Close for Comfort", "Once In Love With Amy", and "Surrey With The Fringe On Top". He shows himself to truly be a *jazz* singer (which is a title that was sometimes given to Sinatra, but doesn't really apply) in the style of Ella, Billie Holliday, or Lambert, Hendricks & Ross (Torme's singing on this album is heavily influenced by the vocalese style they L,H&R were famous for). I still like Sinatra more than Mel, but this album is on my Top 10 list right next to Songs for Swingin' Lovers. If your idea of Mel Torme is the same as mine was, then you definitely need to pick up this album and give it a listen. You're in for a (very pleasant) surprise."
The Essential Mel Torme Recording
James Simon | Valparaiso, In USA | 04/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"'Swings Shubert Alley' is not only perhaps the finest of Mel Torme's recordings but also one of the finest jazz albums ever recorded. I highly recommend it for both Mel's impeccable swing, pitch, and vocalese and for the Marty Paich arrangements and the band's flawless execution. I bought this cd back in '94 after hearing 'Too Darn Hot' on NPR and I love it. In fact, my first copy is now scratched and I am going to buy another. Mel and the band are in excellant form on this album. If you love instrumental jazz buy this album for Frank Rosolino, Mel Lewis, Art Pepper, and the rest of this tight swinging small band. If you love show tunes, buy it for 'On the Street Where You Live' and 'Old Devil Moon' and 'Too Darn Hot.' If you are new to Mel Torme or love straight ahead, big band jazz, buy this cd."
Mel Tome Swings Hard and Fast
Clinton Desveaux | 07/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album doesn't stop from the start to the end. It swings loud, hard, and fast. A classic, really shows that Torme was the greatest of his generation of singers! Buy This Album"