Recently I was strolling through Barnes & Noble in Rogers, fingers trailing the books, ever so lightly as I passed display after display. Surrounded by a magnitude of books puts me in such a pleasant, wistful, mood.
Abruptly, I stopped in my tracks. A tune caught my ear.
A happy upbeat tune with a crooner’s drawl. Fingers stopped trailing as my attention was now drawn to the music section and no longer the beckoning books, I made my way towards the section to find answers.
What was that magical sound?
It was James Torme, the son of legendary jazz singer Mel Torme and, as good genes has blest him, he is following in his father’s fabulous footsteps.
This album, Love for Sale, is the perfect mixture of music to cook by. Who needs a play list when one compact round disc contains it all?
To whet your appetite, let me take you through an overview of his songs. At the end I have included a video where Torme shares a few songs as well as their backgrounds.
1. Let’s Stay Together. This song starts with a jazzy, repetitive, romantic upbeat tune. As you reach for ingredients, pots or pans, think of this song as getting you started off on a high note.
2. Love for Sale. Be-bopping and hypnotizing. Be forewarned, you will find yourself singing this all day long in your head. Upbeat and fast tempo. Perfect background for chopping vegetables.
3. ABetter Day will Come. Slowing the tempo back down, this tune had me picturing myself in a smoky Manhattan bar, Upper West Side. Torme crones with a deep smoky drawl that will slow down your heatbeat. Lift the lid, stir, turn down heat and simmer.
4. Passin By. Slow jazz and finger snapping, this song gives me a feeling that it should be a theme song in a romantic movie.
5. What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life. Cuddling music. Take a break from cooking, caress a glass of cabernet, sit down, talk and/or cuddle.
6. Rock With You. Time to jump back up and check the simmer, turn the roast, pour more wine. Yes, this is a remake of MJ’s hit. I dare you not to sing-a-long with this crispy song. Less pop this time than Michaels, more jazzy. Just right.
7. Autumn Leaves. An intriguing complex song. Starts off slooooow and, surprise, in French. Very romantic. Halfway through it magically changes into English and an upbeat tempo.
8. Come Back to Me. Picture jazz hands. This song has a broadway flavor. Great time to wash a few dishes and clean the countertop. You are getting close to serving dinner.
9. Comin’ Home Baby. Think Austin Powers, Uma Thurman dancing with John Travolta. I dare you not to go a little mod on this one.
10. Reminiscing in Tempo. Quintessential fancy restaurant background music. Slow, low, lazy, blusy, heavenly. This is the kind of music that I wish more restaurants would consider. You can even feel your heartbeat slowing down and finding its rhythm.
11. One or the Other. Easy on the ears. Could easily be a song from Rent, the musical. Dinner should be close to done now. The roast comes out of the oven to rest. Relax a little, you’ve got some time.
12. Mystery Song. Nope, that’s not the name of the track. I do believe they forgot to list the title of this one because the album only lists twelve songs and track 13 on the cd clearly is the name listed for track 12. That being said, this song is my absolute favorite. This is the song that made me stop and change direction in the Barnes & Nobel. Starting off as a lullaby with an old-fashioned flare, it takes a full two minutes of build-up until POW! The song morphs into a happy joyful song about finding your passion and heeding life! What is not to love about that? A perfect ending to food prep and introduction to the main event. This song is you time.
13. Soft Songs. Like the title, this song is soft, faint, and fading. Perfect as you call out to your guests that it is now time to gather at the table, the kitchen, or the serving line. As the song winds down, mute with your remote, and say the blessing over the meal.
I hope I have inspired you to at least check out the youtube video to get a feel for yourself. If this type of music is your thing, pop on over to Barnes & Noble and purchase. Or, go online and download.
Now that I think about it, this album is not just for cooking. It’s for date night.
Eat well, my friends. Eat well.