It may have taken him a long time to : establish the fact. but Mel Torme is arguably the greatest male jazz singer currently working. His phrasing, timing. rhythm and improvisational flair draw more directly on jazz roots even than Frank Sinatra‘s. and he is almost as brilliant an intepreter ofstandard tunes delivered in a more popular style.

Tormé has been in show business since he made an impromptu stage ' debut at the Blackhawk Club in ! Chicago at the tender age of four. and enjoyed an early celebrity as a teenager with his rather sugary vocal group The Mel-Tones in the late 40s. His soft. husky delivery earned him the (unwanted) label The Velvet I Fog. but later deepened into a light l but rich baritone.

Torme’ began with an equal interest ~ in singing and drumming. making his debut in the latter role in a big band ' led by Chico Marx. He eventually settled on giving priority to singing. although he still likes to sit in on drums whenever the chance is offered. and his interest in the instrument is clearly evident in his


Tormé‘s career undoubtedly had its peaks and troughs. including the break-up of three marriages. but he

major interpretive artist in his field. as well as a talented arranger and occasional composer. not to say novelist and writer. He has not always been presented in ideal

partnership with pianist George Shearing has been a particularly productive one, as they will doubtless demonstrate in this rare visit to Scotland. (Joe Alexander) Mel Tormé and George Shearing play Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Sun 30.

has increasingly been regarded as a a :

flexible and imaginative use ofvocal

settings. especially on record. but his

. tasteiul smattering oi acoustic guitar,

i approbation irom the rockers oi Britain ' normally reserved ior godlalhers like I

It the connections oi Gun, The Almighty i have travelled countless miles across the UK, Europe and America, lirme

punt theirvinyl output. The recent ‘Soul 1

; oriented, with not really much


Renais- sance

nim- Praise The Almighty

Ii there is a Scottish band that has last come to epitomise the attitude oi rock’n’roll as it is today, it has to be The Almighty. Brash, brutal, with the odd

The Almighty have attracted the kind of

Robert Plant. The band can’t put a loot wrong, and have the scrapbook to l prove it. 3 Originally touted as the British i equivalent oi Guns ’N’ Roses, it seems that Ricky Warwick (vocals and guitar), ; Floyd London (bass), Tantrum (guitar) ' and the substantial Stump Monroe (drums and stomach) are establishing themselves as an ‘earthier’ product than the LA beasts. Not blessed with

Cappella Nova. leading i exponents of early vocal music in Scotland. give the l art of concert performance a new dimension on Sat 2‘) and Sun 30. At least. a quasi-liturgical performance of a mass is new to most modern audiences. In effect. however. their presentation ofScottish Renaissance composer Robert ('arver's Misva I. 'Homme urme will be much nearer to how it would have been originally. Explaining how it will work. director Alan Tavener says. ‘lt’s reconstructing the service of which the polyphony would have formed a part. but without going the whole hog. Well not be celebrating the Eucharist or saying lots ofprayers.‘ Following the current trend for authenticity in music. he feels ‘it helps you appreciate it as it would have been appreciated in the time it was composed. Secondly.

~ ’94-.

t The Almighty

; in support. Floyd is conlident that the

: gig at the Barrowland will be like their last stint atChristmas, ’onlythistime

we have the chance to work the new

l songs to the limit. The response at our

English dates has been amazing, we’ll

be better at the Barrowland.’ The Almighty will also be joining

; Marillion atDerwentParkin

Workington on 13 July, thus kicking oti

I the 1991 rock iestivals. This hack can

3 saier predictthatalongside

; thunderous Southern Boogie band

i Blackioot, The Almighty will be dead

1 certs to wipe the lloor on the day. As the man in the Totio advert once said, ‘60

Expect a mass auto-da-ié by hairy , 99‘ 'emvf'wd" (“3" WW“) and not so hairy heads when the band The Almighty Play "18 BarrOWIand, take to the stage with Cheap And Nasty | Glasgow on Wed 3.

Poosies galore

adhering to the notion that pressing the liesh at gigs (ooh-er) is the best way to

Destruction’ album on Polydor Records 1 is, according to Floyd London, ‘Doing really well. It’s been charting across Europe and hitting the tops oi charts where it matters.’

Despite being something oi a ‘Blood, Fire And Love Part ll’, ‘Soul Destruction’ is motherto three hit singles, with ‘Little Lost Sometimes’ as their tour single.

it works better this way. Rather than wall-to-wall polyphony you get the I contrast of the simpler l l

Patsy Seddon oi the Scottish harp duo Sileas is just back from a testival in Wales.

‘We heard a line triple harp player, that’s one with three rows of strings, who had been taught by Nancy Richards. She also taught the boys —I think they are her nephews - in Ar Log. There is seemingly an unbroken tradition oi players on that uniquely ' Welsh instrument, not like Scotland, where the clarsach had to be revived at the end oi the 19th century.

‘We’re going back to Cardiii later in the summer to play the World Harp Congress, but that’s quite classically

plainsong settings too.’ Carver. officially Canon

at Scone but more often to be found at the Chapel Royal in Stirling. wrote this particular mass in the l52lls. ‘At that time‘. explains the choir‘s manager. Rebecca Tavencr. I- 'Homme urme was a popular song which

went the rounds in

i Europe.Lotsofmainline European composers made mass settings of it.


' from England. This points


which Scotland had with

Northern [Europe.'

Also in the programme

harmony, and we use the electro harp to play electric bass lines. it gives a distinctive sound, with a long decay. * When we were at the Shetland Festival . other musicians kept telling us how eilective it was.’ How did they choose the name tor the band? ‘lt was Sally Barker, oursinger. She came with Mary and I when we were ; iilmingior“NB” down in Mauchline, in I Poosie Nancy’s, the inn made iamous _ by Robbie Burns. She thought it would :' g"? '7:"‘fcsiijc{fbrg""ng "W i i make a great name iorournew group, ' 8232:: BJFZVEL‘“ ' l and it sort of stuck. and got shortened. ,Ohwm 'und', M}; ‘Anomer band is in the omng’ but Aston. And if you like the l that’s looking too far ahead. Forthe mm, of n. (append ; moment, in Sileas, Mary and l are 2 Nova will be launchingits 3 writing more oi our own material, and second (‘1) (AS\' the electro harp scores is in groups. I , we’re getting together a Christmas (moat-mus) of Scottish $3l in WWI 930""!!! at "‘8 Hogmanav show tor a tour of the States at the end Mai-“1"” ""‘F‘Ph‘mi 1” Dig in GIBSDOW'S George Square. Their j oi the year. . . but on a musical theme, m“ “’"Ccm- keyboard Player had lust '8". 80 | used . not in Father Christmas suits!‘ (Norman

traditional harping, orthe small harp in l its modern contexts.’ i Patsy and Mary MacMaster are j responsible lor some oi these innovative uses oi our ancient instrument, and in their successiul all-women band the Poosies, they wield the electro harp to great advantage. ‘We used it tor a while in the duo. playing traditional tunes, but I think the acoustic harp is better suited. Where

j (Carol Main) j ( impel/r1 .Vui'u sing a!

the electro harp ior bottom harmony. In | Chalmers) (ilus‘eow ( 'utlu'ilrul on S‘ur The Poosies we have guitar, iiddle, and i Sileas play the Star Club, Glasgow on ' 3945‘, OHM-nun KM.“ accordion with sometimes iive-part ' Thursday 4. Iii/minimum sun .m.

The List ZSJune— 1 1 July [991 39