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Hot & Cool - Bennett Sings Ellington

31 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 28, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Tony Bennett ~ Hot & Cool - Bennett Sings Elli

Amazon.com

Tony Bennett's tribute to the songs of Duke Ellington is unsurprisingly tasteful and personal. Working mainly with longtime cohort Ralph Sharon's quartet, the occasional string section, guest horns Wynton Marsalis and Al Grey, and violinist Joel Smirnoff, Bennett puts his stamp on 14 mostly well-known tunes from the Ellington book. His "Mood Indigo" is less the cutting burst of desperation that Sinatra committed on In the Wee Small Hours and more of an isn't-that-just-the-way shake of the head. "Caravan" appears in an arrangement that both honors the spirit of the famous original and shakes it up with a subtle shift in tempo. "Azure," the least celebrated song here, is another highlight, thanks to Bennett's artful tangy-and-sweet touch. Only the snippets of "Take the 'A' Train" that link several cuts feel out of place; it would have been nice to hear the ensemble work out on the number as an album closer instead. Still, Hot & Cool does honor to everyone involved. --Rickey Wright


Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 28, 1999)
  • Original Release Date: September 28, 1999
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00001R3HF
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,195 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Douglas J. Richardson on December 23, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I have enjoyed each album that Bennett has released since re-signing with Columbia. I have also noticed some vocal deterioration on the last few, especially "Bennett on Holiday". After all, the man is getting older. He remains the master, though, of how to use that voice.
Sometimes the deterioration is evident on this album, but all in all it's a great tribute to the Duke. I like the arrangements and how the songs are interpreted. With a wink and a nod, Ellington would probably agree.
This record has it all. Good singing, good arrangements, good choice of songs. It should, and probably will, be remembered at Grammy time.
Hearing this record reminds me of a review that somebody did of a Pittsburgh Sinatra concert in 1993. The writer said that Frank's voice was only 3/5 what it once was, but that he still was twice the singer anybody else was.
This album proves that Bennett is at the top of his game. Enjoy.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Warren Kim on December 28, 1999
Format: Audio CD
14 songs of Duke Ellington. We have heard them through lots of jazz vocalists. However, we can easily tell that Tony Bennett has a little bit difference than any other singers. Abundant, refined of his more than 70-year old voice. Also we ought to know this CD is the best for Tony Bennett and be proud of many musicians to help him including Wynton Marsalis, Ralph Sharon. I sincerely hope this CD is not for his last one.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gilly Bean on February 1, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This is a lovely album. Tony is one of those artists who never fails to produce great stuff. I think his "Mood Indigo" is one of the best I've heard, and I press repeat on that track so many times, it's a wonder it hasn't worn out. Never one to hog the spotlight, "Chelsea Bridge" doesn't even feature Tony at all. It's a wonderful instrumental with Wynton Marsalis on trumpet. Wynton also plays on "Mood Indigo" and "She's got it bad". Duke Ellington would indeed love this tribute. Tony can still sing as well as ever, despite what some reviewers have said. Sure, his voice has aged, but he can still sing with the best of them, and in many cases, better. I recommend this album to any Tony Bennett and/or Ellington fan.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Paul C. Gott (orca@olypen.com) on November 3, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Duke Ellington's music has lived long past himself and that alone should be a tribute but Mr. Bennett's renditions sweeten the pie. There have been other artists who've honored this fabulous music but Tony Bennett is the best signer alive and when you couple him with some of the best music ever written you certainly get an enjoyable listen! As a whole, this is terrific stuff!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Eldon E. Keller on March 5, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I braced myself for the 2000 Grammy Awards, justifiably so: Britney Spears for Best New Artist? Christina what's her face? I was truly disappointed Macy Gray did not win. My only consolation is that Mr. Bennett won his ninth career Grammy paying tribute to a friend, as he has done on most of his past 8 albums. His torch voice is raspy with age, endearing, and as usual, it feels like he's singing just to you. Mood Indigo is a stand-out, as is I'm Just A Lucky So and So, but what I find to be the highlight, if only briefly, is the vocal on It Don't Mean A Thing ... subtle and warm. The samples of Take The A-Train blew my mind ... while others may be annoyed that the cut was not included on the album, I can only take my hat off to the person who decided to tease me and leave me wanting more.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 30, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I heartily recommend this recording, not only to Tony Bennett fans, but to anyone who likes jazz. The arrangements here are absolutely brilliant, and the musicians perform magnificently. Ralph Sharon's piano introduction to "In a Sentimental Mood" is beautiful. Clayton Cameron outdoes himself with his drum solo on "It Don't Mean a Thing . . ." I could go on and on about the brilliant performances of other musicians here, but because I fear that my praises would be wholly inadequate, I will restrain myself. As for Mr. Tony Bennett himself, some might listen to this recording and conclude that he doesn't have it anymore. I disagree. Admittedly, Tony's voice has weakened in the past few years, but his spirit is still willing, and his mind is still the mind of a musical genius. I have always thought that Tony's phrasing is as good as phrasing gets, and his phrasing here does not disappoint. So get the CD. It really is terrific.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 19, 2000
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Tony Bennett has reached a peak of musical excellence in this album that will not be easy to repeat. The Hot & Cool musical styles of Duke Ellinton's music are given new life by the brilliant musicians accompanying Mr Bennett throughout the album. This album convinces me that Tony Bennett is as good, if not a better singer now, then he was in the 60's. Highlights on the album include "Moon Indigo" and "Don't Get Around Much Anymore". Tony Bennett's fraising and interpretation of music has never been better. This album won a well deserved Grammy Award and will be remembered.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By dap on December 10, 1999
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Who's Duke Elligton? What type of music does Tony Bennett sing? These are the kinds of questions I was asking when my parents got me this CD. Upon listening to it however, I instantly knew why my parents had made such a big deal out of it. It's Great! Caravan, Sophisticated Ladies, Mood Indigo, all great. I would tell anyone who enjoys real music to purchase this CD
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