Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Beat of My Heart
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
An early concept album, The Beat of My Heart (1957) features small-group arrangements built around Bennett's vocals and guest drummers on the order of Art Blakey, Jo Jones, Chico Hamilton, and Candido. The star is his usua... more »
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An early concept album, The Beat of My Heart (1957) features small-group arrangements built around Bennett's vocals and guest drummers on the order of Art Blakey, Jo Jones, Chico Hamilton, and Candido. The star is his usual ebullient self here, sounding impossibly young (he's 31) to ears accustomed to his '80s and '90s work. His basic values are already in place, however, as one line makes clear: "Let there be great songs for singers to sing." This CD reissue contains six previously unreleased bonus tracks from the sessions. --Rickey Wright
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Wonderful early Bennett concept album
Jon Warshawsky | San Diego, CA USA | 11/01/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sinatra called Tony Bennett the best popular singer of the (20th) century. Listening to this early (1957) album, it is not hard to see why. While I have always thought the robust Bennett voice of the 1960s delivered a more rounded mix of sensitivity and power, 'The Beat of My Heart' is a tour de force. It is largely a showcase for rhythmic numbers, highlighted by prominent drummers such as Basie's Jo Jones and Art Blakey (Thelonious Monk and others).The spare, percussion-laden arrangements don't give a voice anywhere to hide, and Bennett's smooth, sometimes athletic vocals ('Beat of My Heart' -- amazing) shine. 'Lullaby of Broadway' and 'Let's Face the Music and Dance' are memorable uptempo numbers. 'Love for Sale', 'Crazy Rhythm' and 'Just One of Those Things' are also notable, showing up in later Bennett concerts and compilations.While there may be other sets with more hits, 'The Beat of My Heart' has a stronger jazz element and a generous selection of songs from the golden era of American popular music. If Bennett sounds a bit young here, it is more than balanced by the quality and taste of the songs and arrangements.Whenever you listen, you get the sense that Tony Bennett simply loves the music. That artistry and respect for the canvas permeates his catalogue, and the early 'Beat of My Heart' is no exception. Recommended, perhaps not as the first TB album to buy -- 'I Wanna Be Around' and the Carnegie Hall concert get my votes -- but as essential Bennett. Which is saying a lot."
Tony Bennet, strong jazz artists and outstanding arranging.
Jon Warshawsky | 05/03/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I can finally retire my lovingly cared for but sadly worn vinyl 40 year old original copy. To my taste, this is still Tony Bennett's finest purely vocal work. Although not as arty or popularly accessible as what comes later, he holds his own in the company of some of the strongest of late 1950's jazz leaders. The arrangements and lyrics delivery are consistently clever, surprising and original. Who else would attempt the old Army Air Corps theme and make it sound fresh? A Lazy Afternoon with Chico Hamilton is an excellant example of performance art. This collection is a case of performance by professionals and artists at the highest possible musical level to get the most that is possible from the material at hand."
Early Tony, jazzy, likeable, cool percussion...
William E. Adams | Midland, Texas USA | 10/20/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In a way I've been a Tony fan since age seven or eight. My sister, ten years older, bought his pop singles when his career began in the early '50's...first on 78's, believe it or not, then on 45 rpm. Songs like "Rags to Riches" and "Cold Cold Heart" and "Stranger in Paradise." She did not buy this LP, however, which came out in 1957, the year she married, when I was 12. I always liked Tony. The mega-hit "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" in 1962 pushed him to the top, then he faded in the 80's and came back quite strong in the '90's. He's been part of my life a long time now, and I like his recent CD's in tribute to Astaire, and to Sinatra, and to Ellington. But this one is also good. Bennett's young voice is smoother than on those CD's, but less knowing about love and loss. There are 17 tunes on this CD, six more than on the original vinyl. The additions fit seamlessly into the original concept. Just about all the songs are standards of the era, and show up on all kinds of jazz and pop albums of the late fifties. Tony's gimmick was to let drums be the primary accompaniment, using a variety of talented percussionists. He also used trombones, including Kai Winding, and flutes, including Herbie Mann, and a little piano by friend Ralph Sharon, who is still with him on those recent discs I mentioned earlier...45 years along the path. This LP was Tony's idea, with Sharon doing the arranging, and drummers like Chico Hamilton, Jo Jones, Billy Exiner, Art Blakey and Candido figuring out how to compliment Bennett's vocals without hogging the spotlight too long. For me, it all worked fine. The only quibble is that since I missed this one on its first release, I have owned most of these songs done by other great vocalists and jazzmen, on albums issued later. Great songs here, but most of them quite familiar by now. I think if I had bought this at 13 when it was new, I would have also loved it then, surely more than I do at 58 with so much listening behind me. Perhaps this is not a masterpiece, but it was an important step for Bennett in proving his instincts could be trusted with his own career. If you are a Tony fan, I'd call this one a "must have.""