Not essential Torme, but well worth hearing
John Hankiewicz | Conway, AR USA | 09/06/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This album is a bit more restrained than Torme's other Verves, lacking the high-octane interpretive juice of SWINGS SHUBERT ALLEY or the BASIE/ELLINGTON SONGBOOK. But there's a lot to like here if you enjoy sincere, straight-ahead singing; Torme is attentive to the lyric and in fine voice. Best of all are the song selections: "County Fair" is great to hear in a deluxe studio version, complete with a gloriously schmaltzy "firecracker" finale (compare it to the earlier, stripped-down live version from MEL TORME IN HOLLYWOOD); "Guess I'll Have to Change My Plans," sung with the verse, offers an interesting contrast to Sinatra's SWINGIN' LOVERS reading; and "By Myself" is a worthy pick from Astaire's BANDWAGON (a Torme favorite). This CD may not end up on your all-time favorites list, but you'll keep coming back to it.Now, let's hope Verve reissues OLE TORME next. . . ."