"The greatest "missed opportunity" regret of my life, musically speaking, was missing a chance to see Mel and his band on a Canadian tour in the late '80s. I was booked to fly to Europe five days before he would play in my home city.
This CD gives a glimpse into the amazing experience of Mr. Torme in concert, even late in his life. This was recorded in NYC at a small club where Mel had an annual standing date with a big band. As it happens, this is the disc I had playing when I logged onto this site, and as I'm sitting here listening I had to write my endorsement. Quite simply, Mel Torme is arguably the most overlooked talent in Jazz singing, and compared to some of his contemporaries (Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Joe Williams) Mel's voice has aged amazingly; his voice is different than when he was 20, but I can't say it's diminished at all. This disc showcases his effortless phrasing, impeccable intonation and timing -a real vocal showcase! Listen as he perfectly scats a Charlie Parker solo on track 14! The song selections are summed up by the album title, but really are characteristic of a typical Torme live setlist: a mix of familiar and lesser-known songs by America's great composers.
One final detail to mention: the sonic quality of this disc is outstanding! It's on the Telarc label, noted for their quality recordings, and it really showcases what a good stereo system can do; there's a palpable sense of the recording venue, with a wide, deep soundstage and distinct imaging placement of the instruments."
Superb Singer, Superb Entertainer!
Robert J. Ament | Ballwin, MO United States | 10/28/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A truly great singer who had a superb vocal range and extra ordinary breath control. Mel could really play to an audience and always (as on this cd) provided a wide range of material which included a variety of moods and tempos. Also he was a pretty good drummer as demonstrated on "Rockin' In Rhythm". I haven't heard anyone who could segue from one song to another as facilely as Mel ("Ridin' High" into "I'm Shootin' High").....or with as much humor ("I'll Remember April/I Concentrate On You"). I've never heard him fail to give credit to the accompanying musicians and he always keeps the audience informed of the music(listen to his intro on "I'm GonnaGo Fishin'").If you dig a great vocalist.....and one who can scat with the best, this is a must!"
Mel at his very best
Linda M. Moyer | Yardley, PA USA | 01/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There are so many high points in a Mel Torme' performance, it is difficult to point out just a few. This recording captures Mel Torme' not only at the top of his game vocally, but in his ideal setting-LIVE. It is not the best quality recording on the planet, but the caliber of the musicianship here outweighs those considerations. For a collector-a must. For the casual Mel listener-a must. Just a remarkable performance in every way from one of the most talented performers/musicians that ever lived. A big statement-but in Mel's case, just the truth."
Nikica Gilic | 05/05/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a very classy CD. Very smooth and listenable. Put this on along with other Torme CDs or some Julie London, Sarah Vaughn, maybe June Christie and pour yourself a double (Glenlivit or Crown Royal is my choice) , sit back in you favorite chair and let the music take you away."
Nikica Gilic | Zagreb, Croatia | 01/07/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Imaginative and at times unbaerably cool, Mel Torme proves at this concert how great and creative artist he is. Using interesting material (not necessarily the best known songs from the great American songbook...) and a big band capable of following his fancifull and technically very strong and versatile vocal flights, Mel shines in the best light at this album. A true jazz experience from seasoned singer, still at the very peak of his powers."