Up until he suffered a stroke at age 70 in 1996, singer Mel Tormé continued to improve with age and seemed to have inexhaustible energy. This four-CD set from Rhino does a fine job of covering Tormé's pre-Concord output, although the omission of his Concord work of 1986-1995 is unfortunate for that catalog contains many of Tormé's most exciting recordings. In general, the earlier selections (some of which were with his vocal group the Mel-Tones) feature Tormé on hip (for the period) swing tunes and ballads. Things greatly improve once the singer reaches the year 1975 and there are enough high points throughout the set to justify its purchase by Tormé's many fans. Three previously unreleased selections (best is "Walkin' Shoes" with Shorty Rogers in 1962) are a plus and the colorful 84-page booklet is quite definitive.
‘Sirens of Song’ is the follow up to 2012’s huge success The Golden Age Of Song, with one major difference, this album is GIRLS ONLY! It features a who’s who of both classic and contemporary female artists including Joss Stone, Laura Muvula, Eartha Kitt, Rumer, Kylie and Emeli Sande. The songs are instantly recognisable and have become staples for any discerning music lover; with tracks like Percy Sledges “ Lost Mind” covered by Rumer, Stevie Wonders” I Wish” covered by Mel C and the Clash’s “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” covered by Kylie. In addition to these covers there are some new songs written by Jools in his own inimitable style.
About the things I play: Id say my treatment of tunes should be classed as repertoire rather than a particular jazz style. This is probably due to the fact that years ago when I first started to play jazz, I would imitate various jazz greats such as Earl Hines, Tatum, and Cleo Brown. (She was the first musician Id ever heard who played eight-beat piano.) With imitation we can come close but we never really achieve what we try to achieve by imitation, at least I didnt. So I started to develop each tune as an individual composition rather than trying to play every tune in the same style. I had the best luck with this kind of approach, and now I have a repertoire built up over twenty years Incidentally, I usually write the piano parts out note for note even though when I play I never work from the music. This is a kick I got on years ago. I think we get the sound we do because a lot of our stuff is worked out carefully. It isnt what youd call free improvisation.