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Duets II [+Digital Booklet]

September 20, 2011 | Format: MP3

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Digital Booklet: Duets II

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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: September 20, 2011
  • Release Date: September 20, 2011
  • Label: RPM Records/Columbia
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:02:36
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B005KNV9LG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (447 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,802 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

I love his choice of artists to sing duets with.
Joy Lemon
Amazing that Tony can blend his great voice/sound with all the different artists on this CD.
Judith A. Bedell
We saw the special on tv and decided to purchase the CD.
cferg

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

128 of 146 people found the following review helpful By Rudy Palma on September 20, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Is it any surprise that Tony Bennett presides over this collection of songs like a loving parent, nurturing each of them to ensure beauty results? No, of course not.

Indelibly present and in fine, oaken voice, his turn of phrase is expressive as ever. In fact, Bennett's warmth and charisma are still so strong they sometimes obscure the presence of his duet partners who simply do not have hearts as big as his to offer listeners.

"Duets II" is much like the initial 2006 duets collection in that it is a glossy, sugary-sweet excursion into smoothed-over pop vocal performances with Mr. Bennett's skills guiding the way, singing life into all the nooks and crannies whether or not he and his given duet partner are a suitable pairing. His personality and status as America's foremost singer of songs must guide the way.

Of note is his work with the late Amy Winehouse on "Body and Soul," a heartbreaking, apt tune for the chanteuse's final recording. Both are in their element, and the result is fraught with unrequited longing and slow-burning desperation. It is a fortunate teaming of two great talents bathed in instant pathos in its reminder of how fleeting art, like life, can be. Winehouse's voice was a fine instrument indeed, and "Body and Soul" showcases it.

Duet partners who earn their keep on this collection include k.d. lang, Willie Nelson, Norah Jones, Natalie Cole, Andrea Bocelli, Faith Hill, Lady Gaga, Queen Latifah, Josh Groban and Alejandro Sanz, whose passion fills the timeless "Yesterday I Heard the Rain."

Hill, in particular, sounds so enchanting alongside Bennett on "The Way You Look Tonight" that a full album collaboration between the pair would be a welcome prospect. "Speak Low" with Ms.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
At the time of the release of the 2 best-selling albums of Sinatra's career, the Duets albums from the mid-'90s, I was elated. Many of us simply didn't want to believe, in fact rejected the unthinkable, i.e. that Sinatra was finished, so these latter-day gifts were sufficient cause for celebration. And for the first month or two after each of the two releases, I played them repeatedly. But soon the novelty wore off, and I had no interest in these concoctions, especially with the vast Columbia catalog, the priceless Capitol recordings with Nelson Riddle, the final extended chapter of his Reprise years all beckoning to be revisited. Apparently, others felt much the same (recently, I've seen either disc going for a buck or two used).

The Bennett Duets are less "tricked-up" than the Sinatra ones, which involved long-distance, call-in performances by his partners. Moreover, Tony sounds almost as good as ever, much more vibrant physically and in control musically than Ole Blue was after 1990. Moreover, the program comprises winning songs from the Great American Songbook, with Tony so confident and secure that, rather than being "carried" by any of his younger, more vigorous, partners, he's the one who makes up for their deficiencies with this material.

Perhaps the track with the greatest interest will be "Body and Soul" with Amy Winehouse. It's the most recorded popular tune in music history (check out the numbers at jazzstandards.com or allmusic.com), partly because much of its satisfaction comes from the challenge of executing it--difficult but ingenious and logical chords, unforgettable melody, mediocre lyrics--but Bennett and Winehouse (who sounds mature lightyears beyond her actual age) pull it off quite nicely.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By jasmine on September 20, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is an amazing album, from top to bottom. I had no idea how versatile some of the singers could be such as Carrie Underwood, Lady Gaga, Amy Winehouse, etc. I really enjoyed every single performance.

My favorites would have to be Carrie Underwood and Amy Winehouse, hands down. Both ladies capture a retro sound beautifully in their performances, and they compliment Tony very nicely.

It is a very nice mix of yesterday meets today's artists, without cheapening it or destroying the original song.

Bravo, Mr. Bennett. I see Grammys in your future (again!). :)
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Mark Blackburn on September 20, 2011
Format: Audio CD
"I don't know anyone that walks the face of the earth that doesn't want to sing with Tony Bennett"

-- Faith Hill

Thanks to the world's biggest website for its "related media" supplements, thoughtfully included for our viewing pleasure: I especially loved hearing Tony Bennett's own thoughts on his personal approach to song collaboration:

"So listen," (says the Master of this game) "my passion is still VERY strong. I'm 85. I wake up every morning and I love to sing. I love entertaining people. I will definitely KEEP performing . . . `cause I LOVE it! [This is] `My `Game'!

Those (like me) who've been students all our lives of `The Great American Songbook' are aware of stories and anecdotes about every standard on this album - all of them performed early or late in Tony Bennett's career. But it's great to know how Mr. Bennett's duet partners felt about their cherished "chance to sing with Tony."

Jazz singer John Mayer's astute observation:

"So, you're into the singing [with Tony] and thinking: `HERE's where we are: This is probably where he lives and won't go [stray] far from where we are now? But then . . . he'll go eight notes higher - where he hadn't been before. And you realize: `Oh! He's the most tasteful singer in the WORLD'."

At the end of their terrific duet [on one of Sinatra's signature tunes, ONE FOR MY BABY (AND ONE MORE FOR THE ROAD)] the two men trade quips. Bennett says: "Let's have another drink! Bartender - fill it up again, will ya? [and then] Sleep tight!" Mayer (as if pinching himself to see if he's really just sung with `The Master' quips to the recording engineer (or to producer Phil Ramone): "Can I get a copy of this?
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