Nov 3, 2013
06:07 AMArts & Entertainment
He's Mel Tormé's Son But His Own Man as a Singer, With Connecticut Shows
Are you one of those people who will go out of your way to see someone who can sing the heck out of a jazz or pop standard?
Well you don’t have to do that this time.
Wherever you live around here, Steve March-Tormé practically will come to you over the next week or so.
You can skip the trip to see March-Tormé — the jazz-singing son of the late, great Mel Tormé and the stepson of the late actor and comedian Hal March — at some fancy club in New York City on Wednesday unless you’re a true die-hard. (If you are, he’ll be at The Metropolitan Room.)
That’s because on Tuesday and then all weekend, March-Tormé will be all over Connecticut, playing a tune-up gig at Sage American Grill & Oyster Bar in New Haven on Tuesday (up-close and free) and then at the Ridgefield Playhouse on Friday, Nelson Hall in Cheshire on Nov. 9 and the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook on Nov. 10.
Plenty to chose from — and plenty to like here (including the fact that the trio backing March-Tormé on this trip includes locally rooted jazz bassist Jeff Fuller.) Also joining March-Tormé will be drummer Ron Vincent and his musical director and piano player, Steve Rawlins, who is coming out from Los Angeles.
March-Tormé, who grew up in LA but now lives near his wife’s parents in Appleton, Wis., has been praised for his recasting of classics from the Great American Songbook, as well as for his delivery, even though it’s nothing like that of his late, famous father.
He’s unapologetic about that — and says that, “it’s always incumbent on me within the first 5 minutes for people to know that they’re not going to be watching” his father or some tribute act.
“I love my dad, but I wasn’t influenced by what he did. I was influenced by The Beatles and Joni Mitchell and Steely Dan and Todd Rundgren,” March-Tormé said in a recent phone interview from his Wisconsin home. He pointed out that while his father was a part of his life, his parents got divorced when he was 2½ years old, and he didn’t grow up in his father’s house.