The Bethlehem Years

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - John Bush
Like Frank Sinatra's classic LPs for Capitol and Ella Fitzgerald's songbook series on Verve, Mel Tormé's recordings for the Bethlehem label hit such dramatic heights in artistry -- and maintained them -- that the artist would never quite escape their excellence despite remaining a respected and rewarded performer for decades afterward. Bethlehem was the home of Tormé's first mature full-length statement, It's a Blue World, which proceeded from his undergraduate studies of the 1940s with the Mel-Tones and his advanced post-grad work on the first version of Mel Tormé's California Suite which he recorded again while at Bethlehem. That Tormé on Bethlehem isn't known well by the ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - John Bush
Like Frank Sinatra's classic LPs for Capitol and Ella Fitzgerald's songbook series on Verve, Mel Tormé's recordings for the Bethlehem label hit such dramatic heights in artistry -- and maintained them -- that the artist would never quite escape their excellence despite remaining a respected and rewarded performer for decades afterward. Bethlehem was the home of Tormé's first mature full-length statement, It's a Blue World, which proceeded from his undergraduate studies of the 1940s with the Mel-Tones and his advanced post-grad work on the first version of Mel Tormé's California Suite which he recorded again while at Bethlehem. That Tormé on Bethlehem isn't known well by the wider music-buying public is down to the label's tortuous history it folded in the middle of his contract and Tormé's short stint there six billed records within three years. It certainly can't be the quality of the material that causes the low profile, for if Lulu's Back in Town or Mel Tormé Sings Fred Astaire had remained in print like any of Sinatra's LPs, they would have acquired the same high profile. Leave it to those entrepreneurial wizards at Shout! Factory to introduce the first major-label compilation devoted to that excellent period. Better still, beyond the gripe of including only 16 tracks, The Bethlehem Years makes all the right choices for material. The two records mentioned immediately above are each given four slots, with Tormé's buoyant vocals backed in great fashion by Marty Paich's Dek-tette, which makes a statement that a well-chosen ten-piece band can pack a punch while also leaving the vocalist plenty of space. Tormé's gift for entertaining at live appearances is also given quality time, including several songs from his appearances at the Crescendo in Los Angeles.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/20/2005
  • Label: Shout Factory
  • UPC: 826663798524
  • Catalog Number: 37985
  • Sales rank: 17,870

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Mel Tormé Primary Artist, Vocals
Bob Cooper Tenor Saxophone
Herb Geller Alto Saxophone
Barney Kessel Guitar
Mel Lewis Drums
Red Mitchell Bass
Dave Pell Tenor Saxophone
Bud Shank Alto Saxophone
Pete Candoli Trumpet
Bob Enevoldsen Trombone, Tenor Saxophone, Valve Trombone
Stan Levey Drums
Ralph Sharon Piano
Howard McGhee Trumpet
Felix Slatkin Violin
Israel Baker Violin
Frank Beach Trumpet
Max Bennett Bass
Larry Bunker Accordion, Bongos, Vibes
John Cave French Horn
Irving Cottler Percussion, Drums
Don Fagerquist Trumpet
Jack DuLong Baritone Saxophone
Al Hendrickson Guitar
Anatol Kaminsky Violin
Harry Klee Flute
Marvin Limonick Violin
Marty Paich Piano, Celeste, Conductor, Leader
Jack Montrose Tenor Saxophone
Loulie Jean Norman Vocals
Albert Pollan Tuba
Wilbur Schwartz Flute
Paul Shure Violin
Alvin Stoller Drums
Vincent DeRosa French Horn
Eudice Shapiro Violin
The Pat Moran Quartet Vocals, Choir, Chorus
Ethmer Roten Flute
Eddie Rosa Flute
R. Carmichael Vocals
T. Van Horne Vocals
Randy Van Horne Singers Vocals
Al Pellegrini Conductor
Technical Credits
George Gershwin Composer
Johnny Hodges Composer
Harry James Composer
André Previn Arranger
George Shearing Composer
Russell Garcia Arranger
Hal Mooney Arranger
Ted Gioia Liner Notes
Keith Blake Remastering
Al Dubin Composer
Duke Ellington Composer
Marty Paich Arranger
Johnny Mercer Composer
Cole Porter Composer
Harry Warren Composer
Don George Composer
Al Pellegrini Orchestra Contributor
John Roberts Artwork
Al Pellegrini Arranger
Sandy Courage Arranger
Jeff Palo Producer
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