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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby


Ray Anthony & His Orchestra
Live at the Playboy Jazz Festival (1993)

Playboy Jazz PBD75082

  1. Opus 1
  2. I Had the Craziest Dream
  3. Darn That Dream,
  4. I’m Gonna Go Fishin’
  5. Sophisticated lady
  6. I Didn’t Know About You
  7. It Don’t Mean a Thing
  8. Stompin’ At the Savoy
  9. Don’t Be That Way
  10. And The Angels Sing
  11. Why Don’t You Do Right?
  12. Avalon
  13. Sing Sing Sing

Mel Torme – Vocals
Jonny Osborne – Drums
John Leitham – Bass
John Colianni – Piano

Ray Anthony Band
Ray Anthony –Trumpet
Leo Anthony – Saxophone
Wayne Bergerson – Trumpet
Lee Callet – Saxophones
Frank Capp – Drums
Bob Efford – Saxophones
Ramon Flores - Trumpet
George Graham – Trumpet
Salvatore Lozano – Saxophone
Andy Martin – Trombone
Roger Neumann - Saxophone
Tom Ranier – Piano
Morris Repas – Trombone
Kirk Smith – Bass
Frank Szabo – Trumpet
Bill Tole – Trombone
Llovd Ulyate – Trombone

Mel Torme was 68 when this album was recorded and his truly remarkable vocal talents were still in great working order. When he passed on in 1999, the world lost one of its most talented vocalists; he had everything, perfect intonation, diction and a huge range. As if that wasn’t enough, he could also scat better than any male singer I ever heard could. This was only a small part of Torme’s talent however, he was also a talented actor on stage and screen, a very successful TV chat show host, composer and arranger, drummer and author of both books and film scripts. His writings included ‘Traps, the Drum Wonder’, published in 1991, the book is about his friend drummer Buddy Rich.

The performance here is full of Playboy glitz, but Torme’s talent shines through like a beacon. As you would expect the, the Ray Anthony Band is well up for the job and the excitement of the actual performance is well captured on this recording.

To get a real flavour for his calibre as a singer, listen closely to Sophisticated Lady. One of the finest of Duke Ellington’s compositions, he gets into the song and delivers it to perfection. His version of another ducal composition I Didn’t Know About You, is equally impressive.

Mel Torme was unique in his ability to extract the most from a song; it was a great privilege to hear one of his live performances again in the company of an excellent group of musicians.

Don Mather


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