Thursday, 30 May 2013

The Fulminators revisit "Comin' Home Baby" - the coolest song on the planet

I did an instrumental version of Mel Tormé's 1962 bluesy hit "Comin' Home Baby" a couple of years ago, in which I tried to emulate the stripped-back simplicity of his version. Unfortunately, mine sounded a bit empty and sterile, as amateur digital recordings so often do. Given that it's one of my favourite records (even at the age of nine, I could sense how outrageously cool it was) I was disappointed not to have done a better job. So I convinced The Fulminators to get back in the studio to add some percussion and an extra guitar part, and then played around with the main settings to give it a warmer feel. The result is... well, a bit livelier, at least.

The song was written by Ben Tucker, the pianist with the Doug Bailey Quartet, who released the original version in 1961:

Six weeks later, Herbie Mann recorded a quite brilliant version - the very acme of "cool" - live at the Village Gate:

Bob Dorough added some lyrics, and in 1962 the "Velvet Fog" Mel Tormé (a weird-looking, dumpy little chap whose records are usually rather soporific) released a hard-edged blues version, which still ranks as one of the greatest pop records ever made:

I'll leave you with another of my favourite versions, by the great Quincy Jones:

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