Sings the Ultimate American Songbook, Vol. 1 [B&N Exclusive Version]

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Fifteen cuts, personally selected by Tony Bennett, not only speak volumes about the art of songcraft in America at a certain point in time but also illuminate Bennett's own interpretive artistry. Starting with a rousing take on Cole Porter's "Anything Goes" from his 1962 Live at Carnegie Hall album, Bennett proceeds to demonstrate how well suited his muscular tenor voice is for whatever the song demands. On "Anything Goes," he belts out the lyric with brio and swings it mightily; 35 years later, in 1997, he caresses the tender lyric of "The Way You Look Tonight" with riveting restraint, halting between phrases as if reflecting on words he's writing at that moment. The ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Fifteen cuts, personally selected by Tony Bennett, not only speak volumes about the art of songcraft in America at a certain point in time but also illuminate Bennett's own interpretive artistry. Starting with a rousing take on Cole Porter's "Anything Goes" from his 1962 Live at Carnegie Hall album, Bennett proceeds to demonstrate how well suited his muscular tenor voice is for whatever the song demands. On "Anything Goes," he belts out the lyric with brio and swings it mightily; 35 years later, in 1997, he caresses the tender lyric of "The Way You Look Tonight" with riveting restraint, halting between phrases as if reflecting on words he's writing at that moment. The recordings cover Bennett's career from the '50s through the '90s, minus any tracks representing the '80s; but rather than the most familiar hits, Bennett has clearly made the performance the thing. So if there's no "Rags to Riches" from the '50s, there is a cool, swaggering "You'll Never Get Away from Me," from 1959, produced by Mitch Miller and featuring a jaunty horn chart punctuating a mid-tempo, small-band shuffle. And it may be a reflection of Bennett's own perception of his growth that six of the tracks are from his '90s renaissance, including three cuts from his wonderful Frank Sinatra tribute album, Perfectly Frank; notable among these is the haunting "A Foggy Day," with Bennett singing just above a whisper as the Ralph Sharon Trio adds the appropriate nocturnal, smoky atmosphere, and a winsome, saloon-style meditation on "I'll Be Seeing You." This is quite a portrait Bennett has offered of himself, and at that a good, single-disc overview of his prodigious, challenging artistry. The Barnes & Noble Exclusive version of the album includes the bonus tracks "Don't Worry 'Bout Me" and "Down in the Depths."
All Music Guide - John Bush
A different sort of Tony Bennett compilation than the usual, Sings the Ultimate American Songbook, Vol. 1 packages 15 performances, spanning five decades, that comprise, from Bennett's brief notes, "A revolution in popular music that will never be topped." While listeners won't find "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" or even "Cold, Cold Heart," the names of the composers -- Porter, Kern, Gershwin, Mercer -- are familiar, as are the song titles. Still, compiler Didier C. Deutsch chose some very obscure performances to illustrate Bennett's take on the Great American Songbook, including a ghostly "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye" from 1958, "Ain't Misbehavin'" from 1964, and a 1971 version of "That Old Black Magic" with help from Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond (the first two make their wide CD debut here). Of course, there are plenty of familiar items as well, including "The Way You Look Tonight" (from the 1997 film My Best Friend's Wedding), two songs from his 1993 Sinatra tribute Perfectly Frank, and "Anything Goes" (although this version comes from a 1962 live album). The happy result is a compilation that can be enjoyed equally by long-time devotees as well as first-time fans. [A Barnes & Noble exclusive adds two bonus tracks, "Don't Worry 'Bout Me" and "Down in the Depths."]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/25/2007
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 886971536928
  • Catalog Number: 715369

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Tony Bennett Primary Artist
Dave Brubeck Piano
Paul Desmond Alto Saxophone
Bobby Hackett Cornet
Joe Morello Drums
Ralph Sharon Piano, Conductor
Frank deVol Conductor
Eugene Wright Bass
Clayton Cameron Drums
Joe La Barbera Drums
Paul Langosch Bass
Torrie Zito Conductor
Doug Richeson Bass
Cyril Ornadel Conductor
Technical Credits
Ralph Sharon Arranger
Mitch Miller Producer
Frank deVol Arranger
Ernie Altschuler Producer
Danny Bennett Producer
André Fischer Producer
David Kahne Producer
Torrie Zito Arranger
Al Ham Producer
Josh Cheuse Art Direction
Daegal Bennett Mastering
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great song selection

    What a great song selection. Besides that, we get that wonderful voice of Tony's. I also liked how there were a lot of songs on this CD. The Barnes and Noble exclusive CD is the way to go.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews