Monday, October 31, 2016

Mel Tormé - Comin' Home Baby!

Paced by his only hit of the rock era, Comin' Home Baby! is a real crossover record, balancing a few groovy dance numbers (like the title track) with early-'60s cool jazz versions of the standards "Walkin'," "Moanin'," and "On Green Dolphin Street." Though Mel Tormé never made a terrible record -- his crisp voice and ineffable delivery carried all of his dates -- this session has to count as a low point. The constant striving for some sort of jazz-hipster atmosphere relegates one of Tormé's positive attributes -- his excellent scatting -- into little more than a novelty act. Shorty Rogers, who arranged the record except for the two hit hopefuls (Claus Ogerman's "Comin' Home Baby!" and "Right Now"), attempts to equal Marty Paich's excellent arrangement on the mid-'50s records -- and doesn't quite succeed. "Moanin'" is a stale recasting of the superior Lambert, Hendricks, & Ross version, and the child noise on "Dat Dere" is just baffling. Compared to Tormé's other record for Atlantic, Sunday in New York, Comin' Home Baby! is a passé work that understandably can't get much of a reaction from the usually majestic Mel Tormé.- by John Bush, AMG

Artist: Mel Tormé
Album: Comin' Home Baby!
Year: 1962
Label: WEA Japan (24bit remastered, 2012)
Runtime: 33:12

Tracks:
1.  Comin' Home Baby! (Bob Dorough / Ben Tucker) 2:41
2.  Dat Dere (Oscar Brown, Jr. / Bobby Timmons) 2:58
3.  The Lady's in Love With You (Burton Lane / Frank Loesser) 3:01
4.  Hi-Fly (Jon Hendricks / Randy Weston) 3:13
5.  Puttin' on the Ritz (Irving Berlin) 2:23
6.  Walkin' (Richard Carpenter) 2:59
7.  Moanin' (Jon Hendricks / Bobby Timmons) 3:03
8.  Sing You Sinners (Sam Coslow / Frank Harling) 2:27
9.  Whisper Not (Leonard Feather / Benny Golson) 2:49
10.  On Green Dolphin Street (Bronislaw Kaper / Ned Washington) 2:56
11.  Sidney's Soliloquy (Jimmy Wisner) 2:30
12.  Right Now (Herbie Mann / Carl Sigman) 2:12

Personnel:
Mel Torme (Vocals)
Larry Bunker (Drums)
Milt Bernhardt (Trombone)
Harry Betts (Trombone)
Joe Burnett (Trumpet)
Buddy Colette (Woodwind)
Shorty Rogers (Arranger, Conductor)
Ollie Mitchell (Trumpet)
Al Porcino (Trumpet)
Ray Tiscari (Trumpet)
Kenny Shroyer (Trombone)
John Kitzmiller (Tuba)
Bob Cooper (Woodwind)
Bill Hood (Woodwind)
Bud Shank (Woodwind)
Gene Estes (Vibraphone)
Mike Wofford (Piano)
Joe Mondragon (Double Bass)

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