16 AUGUST 1957, Page 18

Gramophone Records

Hot and Sweet

MEL TORMg is undeniably an accomplished singer. Not as ac- complished as Sinatra, Crosby, Perry Como or Nat King Cole. But still accomplished. It is therefore surprising that on his latest record. Mel Torme sings Fred Astaire (London), he should choose to submerge his obvious talent in some cacophonous accompaniment by the Marty Paich Dek-tette. Mr. Paich's group accompanies Mr. Torme's singing of such gay, charming old Astaire favourites as 'A Fine Romance' and `Top Hat' with what can best be described as the sort of music that is played on film scores to denote that somewhere someone is having a nightmare —that spasmodic, charmless, toneless music which should only be heard in nightmares. It really is a pity. Next time Mr. Torm6 wants to make a twelve-inch LP, could he not find support from a Nelson Riddle or a Buddy Bergman?

But for rhythm, charm, tone and all the real ingredients of jazz, I recommend Jack Teagarden —Jazz Great (London). He sings, swings and slides through ten . numbers in that inimitably relaxed, fluent style—helped by McPartland, Cary, Edmond Hall, Page, Bauduc and others. Good music.

If you like female voices in close harmony, buy The Fontanes Sing (London). The Fontanes are three sisters—blonde Margie, brunette Bea and red-head Ge'ri—and they make a very har- monious racket Singing a gay selection of songs.

From gaiety to the blues—shouted blues. Here Stands Fats Domino (London) features Fats as singer, composer and pianist—all strictly in the blue vein. His singing is very akin to that great Kaycee blues-shouter Joe Turner. The `instrumen- tal accompaniment' leaves a lot to be desired, but the voice is fine.

Finally, Here's Little Richard (London). Imagine a rather high-pitched, hoarse and com- pletely distraught Elvis singing the usual Elvis- type songs. Punctuate the odd phrase with a cat- like scream, an owl-like hoot or a hyena-like howl —and you've got little Richard. And the vote would probably be that you could keep him.