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Thread: Essential Tony Bennett

  1. #1
    AAJ's Barrel Roller xricci's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Lansdale, PA

    Essential Tony Bennett

    I posted Chris Slawecki's Building a Jazz Library piece on Tony Bennett today. See...

    If you have a favorite Tony Bennett album, please post it here.

  2. #2
    Retired Member GA Russell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    North Carolina
    My favorite is Perfectly Frank.

    It's a great selection of songs. I like the piano trio sound rather than the orchestral backing. And I like the way his voice at this stage of his career is starting to grow rough on the edges just a little bit.

  3. #3
    Compose /Arranger / Jazz Prod. Phil Kelly's Avatar
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    Nov 2002
    Bellingham WA
    Anything Tony did with Bob Farnon ..

    "The Good things in Life" et al ..

    Swing ..or I'll kill you ( Bill Potts )

  4. #4
    Registered User PDEE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Woodinville Wa
    When the “ Jazz – an escape from stupid rock vocals” thread came to a screeching halt
    , I was tempted to start a thread about the greatest vocal record ever.. it is by Tony Bennett.. but now this will comfortably fit in this part of the board.

    I really wasn’t a big Bennett fan at all. Close your eyes / Rags to Riches and his travel commercial for San Francisco left me cold.

    One day, a good time ago..pre CD.. I found a double Album on the DRG label. Bennett with one of the best Jazz Quartets ever, partly led by one of the top trumpet ( cornet) players of Jazz.. Ruby Braff.

    The Braff / Barnes Quartet was high on my list of collectable records, their output was not extensive,
    and this ,at the time to me, was an unknown and unusual album.. so I thought I could put up with Bennett.

    I bought it

    Tony Bennett sings Rogers and Hart

    I think Braff / Barnes get label credit on the DRG LPs and the CD that followed, but any reference to them on the outer covers of the Rhino reissue from 99 is sadly lacking.

    The album not only made me a Bennett convert, but made me realise just how good Rodgers and Hart were at turning out great songs.

    Bennett sings the verse to most of the songs

    The intro to Blue Moon, has the great couplet

    When you’re away it’s awful
    When you’re with me it’s worse

    And the short,only about 1.30 mins, but greatest love song ever

    Wait Til You See Her

    Wait ‘til you see her
    See how she looks.
    Wait ‘til you hear her laugh.
    Painters of Paintings, writers of books
    Never could tell the half.
    Wait ‘til you feel the warmth of her glance,
    Pensive and sweet and wise
    All of it lovely, All of it thrilling
    I’ll never be willing to free her
    When You see her,
    You won’t believe your eyes,

    Guys if you’ve never felt like this ( and ladies if you’ve never had anybody feel like this about you) you’ve either got a treat in store… or you have my deepest sympathy…..

    Bennett delivers the lyrics to these, and all the songs on the set with total conviction and with some jazz sensibility.
    I've heard other versions, but somehow they lack the depth of Bennetts renditions on this album. Especially " Wait 'Til.. which seems to die in other peoples arms ( especially you Kurt Elling)

    I never then, or now considered Tony to be a Jazz singer ( whatever that is)
    I bought his Columbia “ Jazz” CD again for the sidemen on it, but really wasn’t impressed with any of the tracks from a vocal point of view. The Braff / Barnes set however got me into buying his more recent CDs.. I guess I like the more “ mature” voiced Bennett than the earlier “ pop “ singer.

    The Rodgers and Hart album is just about the perfect combination of 20 great songs performed by 5 excellent musicians.

    Braff and Barnes were also very much into great melodies and their contribution, dovetailing into each other and Bennett makes this the greatest vocal record ever.. no holds barred.

    Strangely all was not that cohesive in the studio as the recording would imply. Braff is well known for his feisty personality, and I believe Barnes came in a close second, at least where Ruby was concerned. They did not mesh with Bennett at all.. not that the recorded evidence supports that. Braff is on record as stating something along the lines of

    “ there we were with all those great melodies, and Bennett wouldn’t let us solo…”

    In this case I would disagree with Mr. Braff.. something I would be less likely to do in his presence..

    Because this IS the greatest vocal record ever

    Braff and Barnes took their quartet into the studio a few days later and did a selection of the songs.. without Bennett, but again ( dodging Ruby's fury.. )the Bennett album totally outshines that by the quartet alone

    For Braff / Barnes followers.. this is a must.( besides the life of the quartet was relatively short and all their recordings are essential to lovers of melodic, swinging, inventive.. very well played Jazz)

    For those who want to escape from stupid rock lyrics this is a guaranteed haven from the storm

    For those in love who want to dim the lights and turn “them “ on with romantic music ( especially if the “ them” don’t like Jazz and you do)… This is it.

    For Bennett fans.. if you don’t have this one get it.

    It is after all THE GREATEST VOCAL RECORD EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Shame on you Chris Slawecki....for not including it in your list…

    Correct this error at once!!!!

    Tony Bennett sings Rodgers & Hart..... Rhino R2 75838

  5. #5
    Beyond Category gdogus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Chattanooga, TN
    Now THAT'S a ringing endorsement!

  6. #6
    Jaded Visions Jazznik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    I never used to care for Tony Bennett, that is until I picked up the first album he did with Bill Evans, the one with "Some Other Time" on it. It blew my friggin' mind! I also have the Columbia 2-disc "Essential Tony Bennett" which I bought thinking that that was all I would need of Bennett's music. Wrong! I find I'm enjoying the old and slightly worn Bennett of today who sings the standards with that glorious twinkle in his eye, as well as his in his heart. I like his poppier songs, but I really like the stuff he's been doing since the 1990s. It's hard for me to say which album I like best, but I really liked the Ellington album after not liking it initially, but I especially (and surprisingly) love the KD Lang duet album.

    Oh, and Tony's recording of "The Shadow of Your Smile" is perfect.

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