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The Art Of Romance by Tony Bennett

It’s difficult to fathom the fact that Tony Bennett has been selling hit songs for five decades. It seems that I bought my copy of Because Of You only yesterday but it was, in fact, fifty-four years ago. Bennett will soon be eighty years old and he shows no signs of age. His phenomenal sense of time is still unrivaled.

Tony Bennett and Columbia Records are often mentioned in the same breath. They have been together since 1950. That’s amazing in its own right.

Tony Bennett has always attracted top-notch jazzmen and it continues to be the case. Years ago, it was Bobby Hackett, Dick Hyman, Count Basie and others. In 2004 we are offered Phil Woods and Candido Camero plus Bennett’s superb quartet. Things have not changed. Just listen to Woods and Camero on Being Alive. Absolutely wonderful!

In addition to a great voice, fabulous style, perfect time and classy musicians, Bennett has, above all else, unerring taste in picking his material. This album features songs from Johnny Mandel, Paul Williams, Oscar Hammerstein, Django Reinhardt, Stephen Sondheim and Harold Arlen. Tony wrote his own lyrics for Django’s All For You.

It was a complete surprise to find a tune by Geoffrey Clarkson & Johnny Mercer on this CD. While everyone knows Johnny Mercer, few will identify with Geoffrey Clarkson. He was sixteen years of age in 1931 when, together with his father and bandleader Peter Van Steeden, he penned the very popular Home (When Shadows Fall) . I have fifty or more versions of Home and avidly collect the song. It was interesting to find another Clarkson melody, Time To Smile on Bennett’s latest release. It was something that the singer discovered himself. The song has been unheard since a 1940 radio program starring Abbott & Costello.

Nobody delivers a love song better than Tony Bennett. Ask any lady over 40. A number of jazz writers place this album within their top ten picks of 2004. I echo their feelings. The Art Of Romance is a gem!

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Tony Bennett
  • CD Title: The Art Of Romance
  • Genre: Jazz Vocals
  • Year Released: 2004
  • Record Label: Columbia
  • Tracks: Close Enough For Love; All In Fun; Where Do You Start; Little Did I Dream; I Remember You; Time To Smile; All For You; The Best Man; Don’t Like Goodbyes; Being Alive; Gone With The Wind.
  • Musicians: Tony Bennett (vocals); Lee Musiker (piano); Paul Langosch (bass); Clayton Cameron (drums); Gray Sergent (guitar) with string orchestra. Special guests: Phil Woods (saxophone) on 5 tracks; Candido Camero (congas) on 1 track.
  • Rating: Five Stars
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