Album Info

Vocal Music, Traditional Pop, Vocal Jazz, Harmony Vocal Group, Vocal Pop

Album Review

Mel Tormé had artistic -- if not commercial -- success with his vocal group the Mel-Tones in the mid-'40s. After its breakup in 1946, when Tormé was persuaded to go solo, the Mel-Tones were occasionally regrouped by Tormé for special projects. These 1959 dates, which have been reissued in full on a Verve CD, were the group's final recordings, and they make for an interesting comparison with their earlier sessions. In addition to remakes of their two hits, "What Is This Thing Called Love" and "It Happened in Monterey," the arrangements (mostly by Marty Paich) have many quotes from jazz songs and are heavily influenced by Count Basie's Orchestra of the 1950s. The Mel-Tones, which at the time also included Sue Allen, Ginny O'Connor, Bernie Parke and Tom Kenny, swing throughout and sing attractive harmonies without really improvising. However, the concise solos of Art Pepper on both alto and tenor and trumpeter Jack Sheldon work well with the singers, making this a recommended set to fans of jazz vocal groups, of which the relatively short-lived Mel-Tones ranked near the top.
Scott Yanow, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Makin' Whoopee
  2. Baubles, Bangles and Beads
  3. What Is This Thing Called Love?
  4. I've Never Been in Love Before
  5. Truckin'
  6. Bunch of the Blues: Keester Parade/TNT/Tiny's Blues
  7. It Happened in Monterey
  8. I Hadn't Anyone Till You
  9. A Smooth One
  10. Don't Dream of Anybody But Me
  11. Some Like It Hot
  12. Hit the Road to Dreamland
  13. I Hadn't Anyone Till You