14 Songs, 54 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

After long rebuffing record label pleas to record material more in tune with the rock-pop fashions of the day, Tony Bennett found himself without a recording contract in the '70s. It was a development that only focused the singer more intently on his craft in general — and his life-long love of jazz, in particular — leading directly to this brilliant 1975 collaboration with the singular talents of pianist Bill Evans. The spare, European classicism that made the pianist's work so intriguing gently coaxes Bennett into some of his most introspective, refined, yet undeniably dramatic performances on "Some Other Time" and "The Days of Wine and Roses." Their interplay on "Young and Foolish," "My Foolish Heart" and "But Beautiful" are gorgeous reminders of the almost telepathic bond that can develop between musicians working at the peak of their powers in supportive creative environs. Now including five insightful, previously unreleased alternate takes, it's an album whose influence still seems to waft through Bennett's performances with the Ralph Sharon trio decades later.

EDITORS’ NOTES

After long rebuffing record label pleas to record material more in tune with the rock-pop fashions of the day, Tony Bennett found himself without a recording contract in the '70s. It was a development that only focused the singer more intently on his craft in general — and his life-long love of jazz, in particular — leading directly to this brilliant 1975 collaboration with the singular talents of pianist Bill Evans. The spare, European classicism that made the pianist's work so intriguing gently coaxes Bennett into some of his most introspective, refined, yet undeniably dramatic performances on "Some Other Time" and "The Days of Wine and Roses." Their interplay on "Young and Foolish," "My Foolish Heart" and "But Beautiful" are gorgeous reminders of the almost telepathic bond that can develop between musicians working at the peak of their powers in supportive creative environs. Now including five insightful, previously unreleased alternate takes, it's an album whose influence still seems to waft through Bennett's performances with the Ralph Sharon trio decades later.

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About Tony Bennett & Bill Evans

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.

HOMETOWN
New York, NY
GENRE
Jazz
BORN
August 3, 1926

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