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Bethlehem Years
     

The Bethlehem Years

by Mel Tormé
 
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.

Overview

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.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/20/2005
Label:
Shout Factory
UPC:
0826663798524
catalogNumber:
37985
Rank:
76287

Tracks

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
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
Pat Moran Quartet   Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Ethmer Roten   Flute
Eddie Rosa   Flute
R. Carmichael   Vocals
T. Van Horne   Vocals
Randy Van Horne Singers   Vocals
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
Dubin   Composer
Duke Ellington   Composer
Marty Paich   Arranger
Johnny Mercer   Composer
Cole Porter   Composer
Harry Warren   Composer
Don George   Composer
Pellegrini Orchestra   Contributor
John Roberts   Artwork
Pellegrini   Arranger
Sandy Courage   Arranger
Jeff Palo   Producer

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