Bennett Sings Ellington: Hot & Cool

Bennett Sings Ellington: Hot & Cool

by Tony Bennett
     
 

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The best thing about Tony Bennett's resurgence in popularity, from a listener's point of view, is the fact that his voice remains in terrific shape. On this collection of prime Ellingtonia Bennett caresses each song like an old lover, having his way with such memorable and durable tunes as "In A Sentimental Mood," "Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me" and "Don't Get

Overview

The best thing about Tony Bennett's resurgence in popularity, from a listener's point of view, is the fact that his voice remains in terrific shape. On this collection of prime Ellingtonia Bennett caresses each song like an old lover, having his way with such memorable and durable tunes as "In A Sentimental Mood," "Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me" and "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," "Caravan" and "I'm Just A Lucky So-And-So." If the autumnal warmth of Bennett's voice wasn't enough, BENNETT SINGS ELLINGTON:HOT & COOL is graced with exemplary arrangements. Variety rules, as tracks are variously set off by either beefy horns, subtle strings, sturdy small groups, or, best of all, Bennett with just a guitarist and single violinist. On the intimate tracks - "Sophisticated Lady" and "Prelude to a Kiss" -- Bennett dares to expose his 70-plus year old pipes in the barest of settings, knowing he will emerge triumphant. Guest soloists trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, and trombonist Al Grey shine, but your attention never strays too far from either Ellington's imperishable compositions or Bennett, still scaling new heights as a mature vocalist.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Tony Bennett's practically inevitable commemoration of the Duke Ellington centenary is an appropriately blue-chip affair, with a big band and orchestra augmenting the Ralph Sharon Quartet on arrangements by Jorge Calandrelli, who has slowed the tempos to give the singer time to give intimate interpretations to the lyrics of songs like "Mood Indigo" and "Sophisticated Lady." Especially impressive are the less familiar tunes, such as "Azure" and "Day Dream." The slowest tunes also leave room for expressive solos by trombonist Al Grey and trumpeter Wynton Maralis ("Mood Indigo") and violinist Joel Smirnoff ("Sophisticated Lady"). Marsalis even gets his own tune, "Chelsea Bridge," to himself, which means, oddly, that on an album called Bennett Sings Ellington, there is a track on which Bennett does not sing and that was not written by Ellington! ("Chelsea Bridge" was composed by Ellington's partner Billy Strayhorn.) When you hear it, though, it's hard to complain. Less effective is the decision to stick short excerpts of "Take the 'A' Train" (never heard in its entirety) in between many of the tracks. But the main pleasure here is found in Bennett's vocals. In his early seventies, he probably couldn't have belted these songs if they'd been played in more demonstrative ways, but he gets a lot of out them in his breathy, conversational style.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/28/1999
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0074646366844
catalogNumber:
63668

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Tony Bennett   Primary Artist
Grey   Trombone
Ralph Burns   Conductor
Ralph Sharon   Piano
Jorge Calandrelli   Conductor
Clayton Cameron   Drums
Paul Langosch   Bass
Jesse Levy   Conductor
Wynton Marsalis   Trumpet
Gray Sargent   Guitar
Joel Smirnoff   Violin

Technical Credits

Tony Bennett   Producer
Ralph Burns   Arranger
Irving Mills   Composer
Danny Bennett   Producer
Barney Bigard   Composer
Jorge Calandrelli   Arranger
Duke Ellington   Composer
Nat Hentoff   Liner Notes
Manny Kurtz   Composer
Joel Moss   Engineer
Arnold Levine   Art Direction
Josh Cheuse   Art Direction
Mack David   Composer
S. Russell   Composer

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