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Complete Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Recordings
     

The Complete Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Recordings

4.5 2
by Tony Bennett
 

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Having completed his relatively brief sojourn with MGM/Verve with 1973's Listen Easy, Tony Bennett was in the midst of forming his own label, Improv Records, when he made a deal with jazz pianist Bill Evans to cut two LPs: The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album and Together Again. (The first would be for Evans' label, Fantasy Records, the second to

Overview

Having completed his relatively brief sojourn with MGM/Verve with 1973's Listen Easy, Tony Bennett was in the midst of forming his own label, Improv Records, when he made a deal with jazz pianist Bill Evans to cut two LPs: The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album and Together Again. (The first would be for Evans' label, Fantasy Records, the second to follow on Improv.) The singer and his collaborator -- "accompanist" does not adequately describe Evans' contribution, and in any case he received co-billing -- got together in a recording studio over four days in June 1975 with no one other than the producer, Helen Keane and an engineer present, and quickly recorded two of the best albums of either's career. For Bennett, it was a dream project; for years (decades, actually), he had been balancing the demands of commerciality with his own inclinations toward jazz and affection for the songs of Broadway masters and of the Great American Songbook. Left to himself with a jazz partner, he naturally gravitated toward both interests. There were songs here that he had already recorded, but never in so unadorned and yet fully realized a fashion. Evans was an excellent accompanist, using his steady left hand to keep his singer centered, but ready, whenever the vocals were finished, to go off into his characteristically lyrical playing. Bennett could seem a bit earthbound when he came back in (he still wasn't really a jazz singer), but his obvious enthusiasm for the project, coupled with his mastery of phrasing in songs he understood perfectly made him an equal in the partnership. As far as the major-label record business was concerned, the 46-year-old singer might have been over the hill and indulging himself, but in fact he was in his prime and finally able to pursue his ambitions unfettered, and that would prove itself a major boost to his career over time. For the moment, he'd made an excellent jazz-pop hybrid in which both musicians were shown off to advantage. [Of the 20 alternate takes and two bonus tracks included in this complete package, nine are previously unreleased except on the Bennett box set, The Complete Improv Recordings. Not surprisingly, they are more interesting for Evans' different improvisations than for anything else. But they also demonstrate that he and Bennett tried different approaches to the tunes. "Young and Foolish," the lead-off track on their first album, begins with both Bennett and Evans on the refrain, but the alternate take starts with Evans alone, followed by Bennett singing the song's introductory verse instead; the version runs a minute longer. The alternate take of "The Touch of Your Lips," on the other hand, is at a faster tempo and a minute shorter. None of the alternate takes actually improves on the originally released ones, but they show how well considered the album was.]

Product Details

Release Date:
04/14/2009
Label:
Fantasy
UPC:
0888072312814
catalogNumber:
31281
Rank:
4786

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Tony Bennett   Primary Artist,Vocals
Bill Evans   Piano

Technical Credits

Leonard Bernstein   Composer
Percy Faith   Composer
Henry Mancini   Composer
Frankie Laine   Composer
Cy Coleman   Composer
Bill Evans   Composer
Thad Jones   Composer
Michel Legrand   Composer
Neal Hefti   Composer
Gene Lees   Composer
Ray Noble   Composer
Alec Wilder   Composer
Richard Rodgers   Composer
Carol Hall   Composer
Alan Bergman   Composer
Marilyn Bergman   Composer
Leslie Bricusse   Composer
Johnny Burke   Composer
Don Cody   Producer,Engineer
Betty Comden   Composer
Gene DePaul   Composer
Jacques Demy   Composer
Ray Evans   Composer
Will Friedwald   Liner Notes
Adolph Green   Composer
Lorenz Hart   Composer
Helen Keane   Producer
Orrin Keepnews   Executive Producer
Jay Livingston   Composer
Johnny Mercer   Composer
Anthony Newley   Composer
Cole Porter   Composer
David Raksin   Composer
Don Raye   Composer
Jule Styne   Composer
James Van Heusen   Composer
Ned Washington   Composer
Victor Young   Composer
Carl Fischer   Composer
Carolyn Leigh   Composer
Albert Hague   Composer
Arnold B. Horwitt   Composer
Larissa Collins   Art Direction
Mary Bergman   Composer

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The Complete Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Recordings 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
CHUB More than 1 year ago
A MARVELOUS EXPERIENCE IN A JAZZ PIANO WITH LEGENDARY PERFORMERS!TONY BENNETT & BILL EVANS! A PERFECT PAIRING! A SOOTHING COMBINATION OF PIANO & SONG! RPM
Anonymous More than 1 year ago