(Hear Music – 2003)
by Matthew S. Robinson
For the past half century, Tony Bennett has remained one of the hippest and most beloved artists on the music scene. Today, he stands as not only one of the most successful interpreters of the Great American Songbook, but also as brightest spark of that eternal flame. On this “Artist¹s Choice” collection, long-time fans and new explorers are given a look into Bennett¹s own musical library; at the colleagues and compositions that keep Bennett in the game. From unmistakable vocalists like Mel Tormé (“Too Darn Hot”), Nat King Cole (“Straighten Up and Fly Right”) and, of course, Francis Albert Sinatra (“One for My Baby”) to orchestral wonders from Count Basie (“April in Paris”) , Art Tatum (“Tea for Two”), and Duke Ellington (“Take the A¹ Train”), Bennett offers a collection of signature songs worthy of the artists who comprise it.
And while many of his selections are well-known favorites like Judy Garland¹s “Over the Rainbow” and Louis Armstrong¹s “Mack the Kinife,” Bennett demonstrates the depth of his musical understanding through such lesser-known selections as Bing Crosby¹s “I Love You Samantha,” Ravel¹s “String Quartet in F Major,” and the Abyssinian Baptist Gospel Choir¹s “I Want to Ride That Glory Train.” Every song is lovingly selected and personally signatured through Bennett¹s own liner notes, and whether an old favorite or a new discovery, every one is sure to enlighten and entertain, which has been Bennett¹s goal from the start.
© 2004, M. S. Robinson, ARR