Verve Records Stereo Japanese Pressing 1959
Mel reunites with the vocal group he started out with and produces this album. Torme's arrangements are still quite ahead of their time in this recording, but they still stand bold and are intenstely fresh and still quite sophisticated. It's easy to hear the influence on groups like The Singers Unlimited and The New York Voices, and certain tunes that Gene Puerling (of Singers Unlimited and The Hi-Los) would arrange for the Manhattan Transfer.
The Mel-Tones is a five-part group consisting of three men and two women. It's clear that Mel is the lead on most of these tunes, as well he should be. They are slick without being greasy, they swing without being cheesy, and they are fun without being sugary.
These are all great interpretations of these tunes. One standout is the infusion of Basie's "April In Paris" into "I've Never Been In Love Before." My favorite cuts on this album are "Truckin'," "Some Like It Hot," "Don't Dream Of Anybody But Me" (an adaptation of Basie's "Li'l Darlin'"), and, especially, "Bunch of the Blues" which I find to be very avant-garde for the time.
I wish they had recorded more, but this is all they gave us. What an outstanding collection of vocal jazz arrangements.
1. Makin' Whoopee
2. Baubles, Bangles And Beads
3. What Is The Thing Called Love
4. I've Never Been In Love Before
6. A Bunch Of The Blues
6a. Keester Parade
6c. Tiny's Blues
1. It Happened In Monterey
2. I Hadn't Anyone Till You
3. A Smooth One
4. Don't Dream Of Anybody But Me
5. Some Like It Hot
6. Hit The Road To Dreamland
Arranged By [Orchestra], Conductor [Orchestra], Piano, Celesta Marty Paich
Arranged By [Vocals], Vocals, Liner Notes Mel TormÃ©
Art Direction Sheldon Marks
Featuring [Alto And Tenor Sax] Art Pepper
Featuring [Trumpet] Jack Sheldon
Orchestra Marty Paich Orchestra
Photography By William Rotsler
Vocals Bernie Parke, Ginny O'Connor, Sue Allen, Tom Kenny