James Torme's new CD Comin' Home is an homage to an era of music which was filled with notions of romance and timeless values. The lyrics in these selections ring as true today as they did when they were written. Using a combination of musical influences, James' freshman offering brings the sincerity of jazz classics to a whole new generation. Influenced as much by his multi-Grammy Award winning father, Mel, as he is by his own generation's music, James is making these classics newly relevant and bringing jazz to now.
Dad's idols growing up were Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald, but I was influenced by a wider range of musical styles, James explains. I had my dad's era and everything that's come out since to draw from. Because of that I am a different singer from my father, even if there is a lot of him in me.
James' introduction into performing was a headlining residency at Hollywood's Viper Room where he gathered his early fan base. It would have served as a nice foray into R&B music, but all that was to change. When James sang a cappella renditions of 'Round Midnight as his encore, it caused a reaction that couldn't be ignored. I just couldn't resist the prospect of getting young people into music of this quality level, James admits. I saw how deeply the song affected people, which made me want to sing more jazz songs. And the rest is history.