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Duets: An American Classic

Duets: An American Classic

4.4 10
by Tony Bennett
In celebration of his 80th birthday, Tony Bennett performs 18 of his hits and favorite numbers with famous duet partners including Sting, Bono, Barbra Streisand, Paul McCartney, and Tim McGraw -- all live in the studio with the master.


In celebration of his 80th birthday, Tony Bennett performs 18 of his hits and favorite numbers with famous duet partners including Sting, Bono, Barbra Streisand, Paul McCartney, and Tim McGraw -- all live in the studio with the master.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - John Bush
Tony Bennett has so many adoring celebrity fans it should come as no surprise that when a major duets album is planned, he's able to draw a roster of the biggest recording stars from the rock and vocal worlds, plus a pair of country music wildcards. (This despite the fact that he recorded an album with several duets in 2001, and a full-album collaboration one year later with k.d. lang.) One surprise is how well producer Phil Ramone paired Bennett with both duet partners and fitting standards -- among them Barbra Streisand on the optimist's anthem "Smile," Dixie Chicks for the flapper standard "Lullaby of Broadway," Bono on the wickedly spiteful "I Wanna Be Around," Tim McGraw on "Cold, Cold Heart" (the Hank Williams song that was Bennett's biggest country crossover hit), Stevie Wonder on his own "For Once in My Life," Juanes for "The Shadow of Your Smile" (which was a hit first for the Brazilian Astrud Gilberto), and Sting on the torch song "Boulevard of Broken Dreams." (Even the title of "How Do You Keep the Music Playing?" seems fit for George Michael to sing.) Each performance was recorded with Bennett and his duet partner live in the studio -- it could be no different for such an old-school vocalist -- and the setup allows for maximum warmth and congeniality. Yet, aside from the novelty of the billings, Duets: An American Classic doesn't thrill like Bennett's solo recordings of the previous ten years. The arrangements of Jorge Calandrelli are heavy on serene strings that wrap the melodies in layers of soft gauze, and few concessions are made to the needs of the material; virtually every song is either a soft vocal pop number or a finger-snapping swinger. As befits an all-star affair, every edge is polished to a fine sheen and, more than a few times, the feelings his duet partners attempt to summon sound quite superficial. Of course, every vocal interpreter in the business sounds a little forced when compared to Tony Bennett.
Rolling Stone - James Hunter
1/2 Nobody inhabits a song with more casual fire than Tony Bennett, and on this collection of duets, the guest stars follow his heroic lead..... On Duets, nobody loses.
Toronto Star - Geoff Chapman
Backed by his touring quartet and, often, massed orchestral strings, he's in fine fettle throughout.

Product Details

Release Date:


Album Credits

Performance Credits

Tony Bennett   Primary Artist,Vocals
Barbra Streisand   Vocals
Elvis Costello   Vocals
Celine Dion   Vocals
Billy Joel   Vocals
Elton John   Vocals
Paul McCartney   Vocals
George Michael   Vocals
Sting   Vocals
James Taylor   Vocals
Dixie Chicks   Vocals
Tim McGraw   Vocals
Bono   Vocals
Chris Botti   Trumpet
Jorge Calandrelli   Conductor
Bill Charlap   Piano
Lawrence Feldman   Flute
Harold Jones   Drums
k.d. lang   Vocals
Lee Musiker   Piano
Gary Sargent   Guitar
Stevie Wonder   Vocals
Torrie Zito   Conductor
Pinchas Zukerman   Fiddle
Diana Krall   Vocals
Juanes   Vocals
Michael Bublé   Vocals
John Legend   Vocals
Paul Lagosch   Bass

Technical Credits

Cy Coleman   Composer
Michel Legrand   Composer
Sacha Distel   Composer
Ray Noble   Composer
Jerry Ross   Composer
Richard Adler   Composer
Dae Bennett   Engineer
Danny Bennett   Executive Producer,Management
Alan Bergman   Composer
Marilyn Bergman   Composer
Leslie Bricusse   Composer
Jorge Calandrelli   Arranger,Orchestration
Charlie Chaplin   Composer
Betty Comden   Composer
Dubin   Composer
Sammy Fain   Composer
Humberto Gatica   Vocal Mixing
Adolph Green   Composer
Arthur Hammerstein   Composer
Johnny Mandel   Composer
Johnny Mercer   Composer
Lee Musiker   Musical Director
Phil Ramone   Producer,Audio Production
Jack Reardon   Composer
Thom Russo   Engineer,Vocal Producer
Charles Strouse   Composer
Jule Styne   Composer
Sadie Vimmerstadt   Composer
Harry Warren   Composer
Paul Francis Webster   Composer
Hank Williams   Composer
Jack Yellen   Composer
Torrie Zito   Brass Arrangment
Ron Miller   Composer
Tom Young   Engineer
John Turner   Composer
Josh Cheuse   Art Direction
James Minchin   Back Cover
Ian Wright   Cover Art
Sam Coslow   Composer
Carolyn Leigh   Composer
Orlando Murden   Composer
Dudley Wilkinson   Composer
George Cory   Composer
Douglass Cross   Composer
Lee Adams   Composer
W. Frank Harling   Composer
Cyril Ornadel   Composer
Geoffrey Parsons   Composer

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Duets: An American Classic 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Like a fine wine, Tony Bennett seems to improve with age. And bringing back these beautiful and lyrical classic tunes are what most people over the age of 30 want to hear. The songs have stunning lyrics and haunting melodies. And coupling Tony with some of the greatest modern artists like the amazing Stevie Wonder, the magnificent Celine Dion and the dulcet tones of KD Lang was nothing less than a stroke of genius. I recommend this to EVERYONE and guarantee you will enjoy it, no matter how young you are!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Heartwarming and romantic and fun.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The fabulous classical flutist, Pamela Sklar, can be heard on six songs, including 'Smile', 'The Shadow of your Smile', 'Because of You' and For Once in My Life'. She sounds so beautiful!! Pamela Sklar's name- along with the names of the orchestral woodwind and string players- is missing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I love the flute soloist on Shadow of Your Smile. It sounds like Pamela Sklar, who is on Dream Theater recordings and their Live at Radio City Hall DVD. I'd even be willing to bet that it is her!! So, I checked the album credits...but it appears that a number of musicians aren't listed there. There is a jazz flutist is listed, but he has a completely different sound and style of playing than Pamela sklar. I know Pamela's playing from a number of recordings. I would recommend a complete listing of all instrumentalists on the credits- write to the producers or record company.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Eighty-years-old and his voice is still going strong. There were great songs and guests on this CD.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago