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CD: Tony Bennett & Bill Evans: The Complete Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Recordings

The notoriously introspective piano man Bill Evans had rarely fraternized with singers when he decided to join Tony Bennett for 1975’s “The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album.” The pairing proved so groovy that a year later, the duo recorded a second, similarly stunning set called “Together Again.” Now collected in one package, along with a whopping 22 alternate takes, the remastered Bennett/Evans sessions sound more essential than ever before.

On numbers like “You’re Nearer,” “Young and Foolish,” and “You Must Believe in Spring,” Bennett proves he’s a master at melodic and lyrical subtleties. Without resorting to flamboyant drama, he brings gusts of emotion to “Who Can I Turn To?” and “The Days of Wine and Roses.”

Tony Bennett and Bill Evans together in the 1970's.Tony Bennett and Bill Evans together in the 1970’s.

A highlight is Bennett and Evans’ gorgeous reading of the Leonard Bernstein/Comden & Green chestnut “Some Other Time.” Bennett helped turn the tune into a standard and it’s easy to see why. He captures the song’s layers of hope, sadness, and regret.

Perhaps because Evans was best known for ballads, the collection is heavy on slow numbers. A few more upbeat ditties would have given Bennett the chance to swing and sway. But that’s a small complaint. This CD ($13.98), which comes with excellent liner notes by Will Friedwald, is a genuine classic that rightly tops Bennett’s list of his own favorite albums.

Label: Fantasy (Concord Music Group)
Release: 4/14/09

Official Site: http://www.concordmusicgroup.com/albums/The-Complete-Tony-BennettBill-Evans-Recordings/

[Amy Longsdorf’s entertainment coverage has appeared in “Blender,” “People,” the “Chicago Tribune,” the “Toronto Star,” and “Newsday.” She doesn’t want to imagine a world without Preston Sturges movies, Stax singles, and the music of Bob Marley.]

About Jenny Peters (151 Articles)
Jet Set Jen is the brainchild of Jenny Peters, a longtime freelance journalist whose career has spanned everything considered "Lifestyle" reporting, from movies and celebrities to fashion and fast cars, with plenty of food, wine and travel thrown in too. She currently contributes regularly to USA Today's 10Best.com, AARP.org, New York Magazine, Coast Magazine, Bask Magazine and numerous other newspapers, magazines and websites worldwide. She is a founding and voting member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (www.criticschoice.com), which annually honors the year's top films with the Critics' Choice Awards. Jenny and her crack cadre of reporters at Jet Set Jen offer up opinions, suggestions and insider scoops on the best that the world has to offer, to keep you on the cutting edge of that ever elusive pursuit of life, liberty, happiness – and fun, fun, fun.

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