Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Bill Evans, Tony Bennett|
The Tony Bennett / Bill Evans Album
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
Mel Torme dismissed Tony Bennett's skills as a jazz singer, and in mining the Great American Songbook, Bennett certainly has drawn more from bel canto style than scat. But as this remarkable 1975 duo album with the great j... more »
Mel Torme dismissed Tony Bennett's skills as a jazz singer, and in mining the Great American Songbook, Bennett certainly has drawn more from bel canto style than scat. But as this remarkable 1975 duo album with the great jazz pianist Bill Evans demonstrates, Bennett was (and is) supremely comfortable with jazz and jazz players. Pouring himself into tunes including "My Foolish Heart" and "The Touch of Your Lips," but without the theatrical and pop-operatic flourishes that define and enrich his later work, he delivers what may be his most powerfully direct performance on record. His bold emotion and Evans? refined but forceful lyricism make for an excellent fit (the album includes Evans's classic "Waltz for Debby," with lyrics by Gene Lees). The new expanded edition of The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album boasts four valuable alternate takes that reveal the jazz improviser's art was far from lost on Bennett. The artists re-teamed a year later to fine, if less startling, effect on "Together Again." --Lloyd Sachs
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Bennett at his Best, Subtle and Swinging
Mervyn Adrian | Pleasanton, CA United States | 10/22/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Tony Bennett is far too familiar for his schmaltzier stuff. Perhaps it's inevitable that the poppier work drowns out an impeccable, understated gem like this. Bill Evans, who is a supernova in his own right in the world of jazz, demonstrates the difference between being an accompanist and an artist, probing, challenging, surrounding Bennett with surprises, rhythmically kicking things along at times and at others making you stop breathing for a moment to take in the sudden dynamic shift that illuminates the lyric. If you know his "Waltz for Debby" and love it (and who wouldn't?), wait till you hear it with the lyrics. And to hear Bennett's palpable resignation in Bernstein's exquisite "Some Other Time" and the whispering conclusion in Evan's concluding bars is to understand why art songs are not the exclusive province of Mahler and his classical peers. Buy this. And its followup, Together Again."
When giants come together
Gypsy reviews | Ct. | 02/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bill Evans is my favorite pianist, and Tony Bennett is a legend,and together they have given us a gift. In the world of jazz they have created magic.For anyone who loves jazz vocals this,along with their follow up CD, should be on the top of your wish list."
Meeting of Giants
Fly By Light | Atlanta, Georgia | 03/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first heard this CD when building up my piano repetoire to accompany a standards singer. I knew Bill Evans' reputation, but not his work, and I was no Tony Bennett fan. That's all changed. This CD shows off both artists in unexpected ways.
Bennett is usually surrounded by a piano trio or orchestra, with his voice completely drowned in a cloying ocean of reverb; here, with solo piano and just a hint of reverb on his voice, every nuance of vocal expression shines through. In place of the shmaltz and flatness somestimes associated with more ornate Bennett productions, Bennett's skill and subtlety shine through. The emotion that he conveys in this intimate setting demonstrate why he has endured as long as he has - he really is THAT good.
Then there's Evans - an alumnus of Miles Davis' most revered ensemble and an innovator of the jazz piano trio, Bill Evans combines the virtuosity of a concert pianist, the harmonic sophistication of the greatest composers of the romantic and modern eras, a blue ribbon jazz pedigree, and the impeccably good taste keep them from overwhelming his fellow performers. Evans' arrangements give Bennett plenty of room to work while still making almost every moment magical. When it's his turn to solo, Evans gives full and energetic performances that surprise and excite without the usual bass and drums. The piano is recorded beautifully (sadly, not always so with Evans). Evans gives and takes with Bennett like they've worked together forever. There is really no sense of which songs are typically performed by whom, even though some of the songs have been recorded by Evans numerous times (e.g. Evans' own Waltz for Debbie, The Touch of Your Lips, . . .). The constant teamwork, energetic performances and senstive engineering result in a true "duet" production.
The CD features mostly ballads, with a few up tempo numbers (The Touch of Your Lips and When in Rome) and a jazz waltz (Waltz for Debbie). Although the energy and playfulness of the upbeat numbers make them my favorites, the vivid harmonic textures constructed by Evans on the slower numbers make them compelling. There is plenty to digest in this CD, so multiple listenings will be rewarded. Moments like these are what jazz is all about."