First off, let me say that anything recorded by Mel Tormé during the 1950s is worth getting. That said, the 1958 album "Tormé" has an ambitious, West Coast Jazz feel to it. Mel is backed by his frequent collaborator Marty Paich and a bevy of Jazz talent:
Jack Sheldon(Trumpet), Frank Rosolino(Trombone), Bill Perkins, Dave Pell(Woodwinds)and Shelly Manne, Alvin Stoller(drums).
Mel covers some well-known and not-so-well-known songs. Standout cuts include a bright and cheery "That Old Feeling", a mournful and bluesy song called "Gloomy Sunday" which has a great trumpet solo. I'm not accustomed to hearing Tormé singing such depressing lyrics ("death is no dream, in death I'm caressing you, etc.) but its a tremendous performance by band and singer. A song in a similiar vein is "This House is Haunted By the Echo of Your Last Goodbye(!)" that and a rare vocal (for the time) of Thelonious Monk's classic "Round Midnight" completes a trio of very un-Tormé-like performances, but they are fantastic.
The only song that falls flat is an over-the-top rendition of "Blues In the Night." The band veers wildly and the song changes tempos, making for a jarring listen. I'd call it an "interesting failure."
As for the remastering, "Tormé" has good, crisp sound, but as it so often goes for Verve releases from this time period, there is a bit of analog tape hiss that rears it's ugly head on the quiet tunes. It's not terribly distracting, and it should not influence your decision to purchase this cd. As its strengths more than outweigh its shortcomings.