- Number of Discs: 2
- Released: November 29, 1999
- Label: Concord Records
JazzTimes - 4/00, p.119
"...His extraordinary voice never varies in inventive combinations of graceful lyrics, agile scatting and incredible musicianship....A splendid tribute to an unforgettable voice."
Tracks on Disc 1:
- 2.Born to Be Blue
- 3.Lullaby of Birdland
- 5.Love Is Just Around the Corner
- 6.This Time the Dream's on Me
- 7.Just Friends
- 8.Don'cha Go 'Way Mad
- 9.Spoken Intro
- 10.New York, New York Medley: For Me And My Gal / Mack The Knife / Birth Of The Blues / Send A Little Love My Way / How High The Moon / New York, New York
- 11.Sweet Georgia Brown
- 12.The Carioca
- 13.Too Close For Comfort
- 14.Lovely Way to Spend an Evening, A (This Is)
Tracks on Disc 2:
- 1.Day In
- 2.You're Driving Me Crazy (What Did I Do?)
- 3.Ellington Medley: Cotton Tail / I Didn't Know About You / Don't Get Around Much Anymore / I'm Beginning To See The Light
- 4.The Christmas Song / Autumn Leaves
- 5.Sent For You Yesterday and Here You Come Today
- 6.I'm Nothing Without You (You're Nothing Without Me)
- 7.After You've Gone
- 8.These Foolish Things
- 9.Three Little Words
- 10.Pennies From Heaven
- 11.I Get a Kick Out of You
- 12.Liza (All the Clouds'll Roll Away)
- 13.Spoken Intro
- 14.Stairway to the Stars
Personnel includes: Mel Torme, Cleo Laine (vocals); John Dankworth (soprano & alto saxophones, clarinet); Ray Loeckle (tenor saxophone, flute, bass clarinet); Ken Peplowski (tenor saxophone, clarinet); Randy Sandke (trumpet, flugelhorn); Rob McConnel (trombone); Peter Appleyard (vibraphone); George Shearing, Mike Renzi, John Campbell, John Colianni (piano); Howard Alden, Larry Koonse (guitar); Brian Torff, Neil Swainson, Don Thompson, Bob Maize, John Leitham (bass); Donnie Osborne (drums); The Frank Wess/Harry "Sweets" Edison Orchestra, Rob McConnell & The Boss Brass, The Marty Paich Dek-tette, The Frank Wess Orchestra.
Recorded from 1982-1996. Includes liner notes by George Shearing and Glen A. Barros.
Digitally remastered by George Horn.
While the mellow jazz/pop vocalist known to the world as the Velvet Fog was a star in the 1940s and '50s, and experienced brief resurgences over the next couple of decades, few could predict that he would hit his artistic stride in the final phase of his career. That's what happened during Mel Torme's tenure at Concord in the '80s and '90s. He made the most of the artistic freedom the label gave him, and in his collaborations with piano legend George Shearing as well as esteemed Canadian swing ensemble Rob McConnell & the Boss Brass, he reached new levels of musical expression. While he didn't break new ground in terms of material during those years, one listen to "Born To Be Blue" or "Stardust" makes it immediately obvious that Torme was delving into deeper emotional waters than ever before. THE BEST OF THE CONCORD YEARS shows that the storied singer went out on a high note.