24 Songs, 55 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The mid-‘60s saw Tony Bennett enjoying a renewed burst of popularity thanks to a series of strong LPs and a certain hit single about The City by the Bay. Live at the Sahara: Las Vegas 1964 captures the master song stylist onstage during this productive time. This performance—originally released as part of Bennett’s Complete Collection box set in 2011—finds Tony drawing on a series of albums released in 1963 and 1964, as well as delivering spirited readings of songs as different as Billy Mayhew’s “It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie,” Fats Waller’s “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” and Al Jolson’s “Keep Smiling at Trouble (Trouble’s a Bubble).” Standards like “I Wanna Be Around” and (of course) “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” are complemented by lesser-known selections like “I’m Way Ahead of the Game” (from the obscure musical Foxy). Bennett has fun riffing on his heritage in “Rags to Riches,” gets seductive on a heart-melting version of “Mam’selle,” and swings the roof off the Congo Room with a scintillating “Lullaby of Broadway.” The Ralph Sharon Trio provides sterling support, backed by the crisp brass of The Louis Basil Orchestra.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The mid-‘60s saw Tony Bennett enjoying a renewed burst of popularity thanks to a series of strong LPs and a certain hit single about The City by the Bay. Live at the Sahara: Las Vegas 1964 captures the master song stylist onstage during this productive time. This performance—originally released as part of Bennett’s Complete Collection box set in 2011—finds Tony drawing on a series of albums released in 1963 and 1964, as well as delivering spirited readings of songs as different as Billy Mayhew’s “It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie,” Fats Waller’s “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” and Al Jolson’s “Keep Smiling at Trouble (Trouble’s a Bubble).” Standards like “I Wanna Be Around” and (of course) “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” are complemented by lesser-known selections like “I’m Way Ahead of the Game” (from the obscure musical Foxy). Bennett has fun riffing on his heritage in “Rags to Riches,” gets seductive on a heart-melting version of “Mam’selle,” and swings the roof off the Congo Room with a scintillating “Lullaby of Broadway.” The Ralph Sharon Trio provides sterling support, backed by the crisp brass of The Louis Basil Orchestra.

TITLE TIME
3:14
1:39
2:23
2:28
1:51
2:05
2:24
1:59
2:04
2:04
0:50
2:42
1:50
5:52
2:56
4:35
1:02
2:59
2:14
2:16
2:26
0:58
0:32
2:29

About Tony Bennett

Tony Bennett cut his teeth singing in front of the toughest of audiences as a teenage army-band performer entertaining hardened troops stationed in Europe during World War II. Ever since, he’s carried the determination and gusto he learned back then through an epic career as America’s consummate crooner. During his initial star-making streak in the ’50s and ’60s, the New York City–born Bennett displayed both a pop singer’s flair for spotlight-seizing spectacle (listen to that soaring, curtain-closing vocal flourish on “(I Left My Heart) In San Francisco”) and a muso’s ear for jazzy improvisation (which blossomed on his supremely swinging albums with Count Basie). Bennett is always in crowd-pleasing mode—you can practically see his smile as he sashays through the big-band orchestration of “The Best Is Yet to Come.” But the natural grit in his voice can also imbue a ballad like Hank Williams’ “Cold, Cold Heart” with palpable melancholy and regret (the singer’s more artistic impulses have been channeled into a parallel career as a painter of impressionistic portraits and landscapes). Always faithful to the standards, Bennett’s staunch refusal to conform to trends has made him an unlikely hero to alternative rockers and modern pop firebrands alike, with latter-day duet partners like Elvis Costello and Lady Gaga lining up to bask in the eternal charisma that Bennett has always exuded so effortlessly.

  • ORIGIN
    New York, NY
  • GENRE
    Jazz
  • BORN
    August 3, 1926

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