Great Jazz Albums (IMO) #48

Mel Torme. Mel Torme Swings Shubert Alley (1960). The Velvet Fog was grossly under-appreciated as a jazz singer. Perhaps because he sang with such unalloyed joy, he was often lumped into the same category as more saccharine pop singers of his generation when, in fact, he was one of the greatest interpreters of the Great American Songbook, far closer to Sinatra — or perhaps Ella Fitzgerald — when it came to pure skill and musicianship than to Perry Como and Andy Williams. His work with the late George Shearing is well worthwhile, but my favorite album is Mel Torme Swings Shubert Alley. With this collection of Broadway standards wonderfully arranged and backed by the Marty Paich Orchestra, Torme brilliantly shows off his virtuosity that one reviewer describes as "unrestrained enthusiasm." [Related posts: Great Jazz Albums #1 (Hank Mobley), #2 (Horace Silver), #3 (Sonny Rollins), #4 (Sonny Clark), #5 (Dexter Gordon), #6 (Cannonball Adderley); #7 (Bill Evans), #8 (McCoy Tyner), #9 (Clifford Brown), #10 (Sinatra), #11 (Monk), #12 (Kenny Dorham), #13 (Coltrane), #14 (Duke Ellington), #15 (Miles Davis), #16 (Wayne Shorter), #17 (Dinah Washington); #18 (Sarah Vaughan); #19 (Stan Getz); #20 (Blue Mitchell); #21 (Gene Ammons); #22 (Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers); #23 (Red Garland); #24 (Ella Fitzgerald); #25 (Charlie Parker); #26 (Art Pepper); #27 (Bud Powell); #28 (John Hicks); #29 (Kenny Barron); #30 (Coleman Hawkins); #31 (Count Basie); #32 (Benny Carter w/ Ben Webster and Barney Bigard); #33 (Chet Baker); #34 (Thad Jones); #35 (The Great Jazz Trio); #36 (Ahmad Jamal); #37 (Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond); #38 (Johnny Griffin and Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis); #39 (Charles McPherson); #40 (Harold Land); #41 Booker Little); #42 (Elis Regina & Antonio Carlos Jobim); #43 (Art Farmer & Benny Golson); #44 (Wynton Kelly); #45 (Tony Bennett/Bill Evans; # 46 (Barry Harris); #47 (Elmo Hope)]

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