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Mel Torme - California Suite (1999)

Jazz | Author: jonson | 11-10-2016, 19:59
Mel Torme - California Suite (1999) Artist: Mel Torme
Title Of Album: California Suite
Year Of Release: 1999
Label (Catalog#): Rhino
Country: US
Genre: Bethlehem Archives/Avenue Jazz
Quality: FLAC (tracks+.cue,log,scans)
Bitrate: Lossless
Time: 36:28
Full Size: 123 MB
WebSite: Album Preview


01. The Territory (The Soil Was Good) (2:57)
02. West Coast Is The Best Coast (1:43)
03. La Jolla (3:05)
04. Coney Island (2:46)
05. Atlantic City Boardwalk (2:33)
06. They Go To San Diego (3:54)
07. San Fernando Valley (5:04)
08. Got The Gate On The Golden Gate (4:21)
09. L.A. (1:48)
10. Six O'Clock (It's Time To Leave The Set) (0:55)
11. Nothing To Do (But Shed A Tear) (0:22)
12. Poor Little Extra Girl (3:52)
13. West Coast Is The Best Coast (Reprise) (3:07)

Mel Torm?'s California Suite originated in 1949 and was the first blossom of his interest in composing and expanding the palette of traditional pop beyond crooning. Recorded while he was at Capitol, the original conception was a 20-minute piece recorded with the help of arrangers Billy May and Neal Hefti plus Peggy Lee on vocals. In response to support from fans and his next label, Bethlehem, Torm? expanded California Suite to a full LP eight years later. His new friend, Marty Paich, gave the arrangements an upbeat feel, splendidly evoking the go-go '50s. Though many tracks border on that cagey territory between a pep rally and a tourism commercial, the music is bright and bouncy, with Torm? gliding over the arrangements with sheer grace and even finding time to get in an occasional dig at Californian sensibilities ("That's not smog/It's just heavy dew"). Though the titles are a bit silly -- he had lately been inspired by Johnny Mercer -- Torm? saves the album with some of the best compositions of his career. He flirts with song structure (sounds inspired more by musical comedy than traditional pop) and writes clever lyrics that reveal a layer beneath the superficiality of the song titles. He also sounds in what could be the best voice of his entire career, rivaled only by Mel Torm? Sings Fred Astaire or Swings Shubert Alley. In essence, Mel Torm?'s California Suite perfectly evokes many of the qualities (positive and negative) that characterized the '50s in Southern California -- a region breathless with anticipation of a glorious future, anxious to start consuming everything an American family should, and just a bit giddy with all the splendor.

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