Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Mel Torme Joins the List

Some things you may or may not have known about Mel Torme:
-He co-wrote the words and music to The Christmas Song (made famous by Nat "King" Cole). He claims he and his partner finished the song in about 40 minutes.
-In addition to writing over 250 songs, he also wrote a biography of Buddy Rich, a novel, and three autobiographical works.
-His nickname (which he didn't like very much) was "The Velvet Fog".

So, if I needed any justification for putting him on the Yoity Tot CD list, there it is. Simple fact of the matter is, Mel Torme Swings Shubert Alley is a really fun, highly exuberant piece of music entertainment and true to its name, every tune swings. I really only bought it because it wasn't that expensive and I never expected Mel to become a pseudo-hero of mine, but he did, and he did it in short order. This CD is hard to put on the shelf. It helps that I'm working on one or two of the songs that are on the CD, too. You know, you can listen to Sinatra anytime, but the same goes for Torme. Like I said in my amazon.com review, growing up, his was one of those names that you heard all the time, but you could only really associate it with "older people's music" and when you got older, you just never expended the effort to find out what he was all about. I bought the Shubert Alley CD on a whim, and it was after that I began to learn more about him. Like so many things in being late to jazz, at least I'm able to get on the boat the second time it pulls into the harbor. My entire life would be different if I'd figured out about jazz and people like Torme back in, say, 1972 instead of 2007.

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