Picks and Pans Review: Mel Tormé

updated 12/01/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/01/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

Mel Tormé with Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass

There are plenty of predictable pleasures in an album of Tormé singing with a band that has a 12-piece brass section (and five reeds): a swinging Don'cha Go 'Way Mad, for instance, or a nicely varied Ellington medley that includes Mood Indigo and Satin Doll. The happy surprise is a slow, bluesed-out version of Cow Cow Boogie, the novelty tune that was a 1943 hit for Ella Mae Morse. Tormé sings it against the harmonica of Guido Basso, in the best sittin'-around-the-campfire fashion, taking it just seriously enough that it's clear he isn't really taking it seriously. Tormé is so easily parodied, it's nice to hear him having a little fun with his own image. (Concord)

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