The Best of the Improv Recordings

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Improv was a label started by Tony Bennett and businessman Bill Hassett. Bennett was fed up with the suits at Columbia Records, who were trying to make him sing rock & roll. When his contract expired at the beginning of the 1970s, he and Hassett formed a label to help him realize his aesthetic ambitions, and Improv was born. Bennett recorded five albums for the label between 1973 and 1977 before it went bankrupt. These recordings may not have sold well -- due largely to distribution problems -- but all of them were critically acclaimed. On these sides, Bennett is in awesome company throughout, with talent ranging from Bill Evans and Earl Hines to Ruby Braff to Marian ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Improv was a label started by Tony Bennett and businessman Bill Hassett. Bennett was fed up with the suits at Columbia Records, who were trying to make him sing rock & roll. When his contract expired at the beginning of the 1970s, he and Hassett formed a label to help him realize his aesthetic ambitions, and Improv was born. Bennett recorded five albums for the label between 1973 and 1977 before it went bankrupt. These recordings may not have sold well -- due largely to distribution problems -- but all of them were critically acclaimed. On these sides, Bennett is in awesome company throughout, with talent ranging from Bill Evans and Earl Hines to Ruby Braff to Marian McPartland to Buddy Tate and Charlie Byrd. Selections come from the original albums Tony Bennett Sings 10 Rodgers & Hart Songs, Tony Bennett Sings More Great Rodgers & Hart, Tony Bennett and Bill Evans Together Again (this was the follow-up to the Fantasy set entitled The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album, and is easily the better of the two), Life Is Beautiful, and Tony Bennett with the McPartlands and Friends Make Magnificent Music. Although collectors will opt for the completist box set (The Complete Improv Recordings), this is a good summation of a restlessly original artist during the biggest gamble of his professional career.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/12/2011
  • Label: Concord Records
  • UPC: 888072329553
  • Catalog Number: 32955
  • Sales rank: 196,339

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 This Can't Be Love - Ruby Braff - George Barnes Quartet (1:41)
  2. 2 Make Someone Happy (3:52)
  3. 3 Isn't It Romantic? - Ruby Braff - George Barnes Quartet (3:23)
  4. 4 Life is Beautiful (2:26)
  5. 5 Blue Moon - Ruby Braff - George Barnes Quartet (2:12)
  6. 6 Thou Swell - Ruby Braff - George Barnes Quartet (2:12)
  7. 7 You Don't Know What Love is (3:25)
  8. 8 My Romance - Ruby Braff - George Barnes Quartet (3:44)
  9. 9 The Lady is a Tramp - Ruby Braff - George Barnes Quartet (2:30)
  10. 10 You Must Believe In Spring (5:51)
  11. 11 Reflections (3:35)
  12. 12 I Could Write a Book - Ruby Braff - George Barnes Quartet (3:11)
  13. 13 Maybe September (3:55)
  14. 14 As Time Goes By (3:13)
  15. 15 While We're Young (2:06)
  16. 16 I Left My Heart In San Francisco (1:54)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Tony Bennett Primary Artist, Vocals
George Barnes Guitar
Ruby Braff Cornet
Charlie Byrd Guitar
Bill Evans Piano
Buddy Tate Saxophone
Brian Torff Bass
Jimmy McPartland Cornet
Herb Hall Clarinet
Chuck Higgins Drums
Joe Cocuzzo Drums
Vic Dickenson Trombone
Marian McPartland Piano
Wayne Wright Guitar
Torrie Zito Piano, Conductor
John Giuffrida Bass
George Reed Drums
Spider Martin Saxophone
Technical Credits
Tony Bennett Producer
Richard Rodgers Composer
Alan Bergman Composer
Marilyn Bergman Composer
Don Cody Producer, Engineer
Duke Ellington Composer
Will Friedwald Liner Notes
Lorenz Hart Composer
Helen Keane Producer
Frank Laico Engineer
Marian McPartland Duet
Jule Styne Composer
Torrie Zito Orchestration
Paul Blakemore Mastering
Bob Grotke Engineer
Ana Baracca Cover Design
Herman Hupfeld Composer
Steven Lapa Producer
Engvick Composer
Vince Morette Engineer
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