The Velvet Fog. You immediately stop everything you do, once you hear his caramel coloured voice. That one and only smooth sound belonged to Mel Torme.
And like many of his contemporaries, he was multi talented.
Mel also was an extremely accomplished drummer – and on top of that, he wrote several enlightening books on singing; check My Singing Teachers for instance. And he was a child prodigy, teen idol, songwriter and actor.
Mel Torme. You just gotta love him. It is said that Mel himself detested his nickname and referred to it als ‘The Velvet Frog Voice.’
His style is firmly rooted in the swing era, and like Ella, he was able to incorporate bebop innovations to keep his performances fresh and contemporary. Add perfect diction and subtle phrasing to that voice and you have a winner. Oh, and add that famous winter hit by his hand: The Christmas Song – chestnuts roasting on an open fire…
What could you take from Mel? Anything! Everything. Let’s pick one.
How to get a sugar coated voice like Mel?
My million dollar tip? Smile!
Smiling makes your false vocal cords relax and retract. In your throat, there will be more space for your sound to blossom. Your sound will become warmer. It’s a little miracle in itself, isn’t it?
In the classical world, this phenomena is also known as the ‘inner smile.’ You usually can’t hold up a smile for ages, but you CAN remember how spacious it felt like in your throat. Then try to come back to this feeling again, when you want to weave more warmth into your sound.
Mel will be proud of ya!
My album tip for you:
Mel Torme and the Marty Paich Dektette
Mel Torme on Wikipedia: