Congratulations to Concord Records for bringing together the six albums of Mel Torme & George Shearing, along with a bonus CD of previously unreleased tracks. It is a major contribution to contemporary jazz vocals and contemporary jazz piano.
For those who enjoy Mel Torme and George Shearing, this 7 CD boxed set with 47 page booklet will be a precious treasure. These two jazz greats are in top form in this collection. This is certainly the type of jazz gift to give a friend for the holiday season, and something that should be requested at your local public library for placement in the jazz section of the library.
Both men have become legends in their own time in the realm of jazz. Mel Torme was a young actor in the 1940s and made his film debut with Frank Sinatra in the movie, "Higher and Higher." Torme appeared in numerous television dramatic productions in addition to musical ventures that were highly successful. The author of many books, Torme's engaging autobiography, "It Wasn"t All Velvet," revealed the many creative talents of Torme as composer, actor, arranger, writer, and singer, and his life in Hollywood and Chicago.
George Shearing has been a leading voice in jazz piano since the 1940s when he became one of England's most enduring pianists and ranked consistently as the Number 1 English jazz pianist. A gifted and imaginative composer, his compositions in jazz have been equally enduring among the jazz listening audience. His 1940s jazz classic hit recording of "September in the Rain" went on to sell nearly one-million copies.
Listening to this 7 CD collection is an entertaining treat and for those who have not heard Torme and Shearing together, this is a wonderful introduction to a special world of jazz music which has style, feeling, and superb entertainment. There are at least nine or more songs on each CD.
The bonus CD, disc 7, contains 17 songs of previously unreleased material including "New York State of Mind," "Here's To My Lady," "Moten Swing," "You're Driving Me Crazy," "All God's Chillun Got Rhythm," "Pick Yourself Up," "Love Is Just Around The Corner," "Some Other Time," among others. These tracks will appeal to a diverse audience.
Here is a partial listening of songs in this flawless collection: "Born To Be Blue," "Good Morning Heartache," "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To," "A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square," "Lullaby of Birdland," "Stardust," "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes," "Away In The Manger," "Just One Of Those Things," "On Green Dolphin Street," "I'm Hip," "I'll Be Seeing You," "Love And The Moon," "Last Night, When We Were Young," "Love Me Or Leave Me," "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," "The Way You Look Tonight," "When Sunny Gets Blue," "I Had The Craziest Dream," "Darn That Dream," "This Is A Lovely Way To Spend An Evening," "We Mustn't Say Goodbye," among many other songs. Each song is a gem of jazz musical expression as performed by Mel Torme and George Shearing.
Truly, this type of collection comes along rarely, and these complete Concord recordings of Mel Torme and George Shearing performing together are top-of-the-line performances by two jazz giants. If you want to have something different in your home jazz library that will give you uncounted hours of enjoyment, get this collection, for it is everything good jazz vocals and good jazz piano is supposed to be! Highly recommended.