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The Silver Lining - The Songs of Jerome Kern

4.5 out of 5 stars 159 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 25, 2015
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Editorial Reviews

The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern, is the new album from American musical legend Tony Bennett and acclaimed jazz pianist Bill Charlap. This new release continues the classic series of Tony Bennett album releases celebrating the essentials of the Great American Songbook. The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern is an appreciation of the genius of Jerome David Kern, one of the 20th century's most important American composers of musical theater and popular music. Jerome Kern was a major force on Broadway and in Hollywood musicals in a career that spanned more than four decades. He expanded on earlier musical theater traditions, from vaudeville to operetta, to embrace new dance rhythms, syncopation and jazz progressions and helped invent the modern musical template. While many of his Broadway musicals and Hollywood musical films were contemporary smash hits, Kern is perhaps best remembered today through revivals of "Show Boat," one of his signature achievements.

Tony Bennett is the only artist to successfully bridge the worlds of pop music and jazz on an international scale for over 60 years. The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern become parts of a timeless legacy of recordings that Bennett has done throughout his career that have embraced both genres, in particular the revered piano jazz albums that he recorded with the late Bill Evans in 1975 and 1977. Tony has become synonymous with the pop/jazz connection and in recent years has been a mentor to contemporary artists such as Lady Gaga and the late Amy Winehouse in encouraging them to embrace jazz music. The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern defines what makes Tony Bennett unique in the pantheon of great singers and is a testament to the legacy that he continues to create as a recording artist and influence in the music industry.

Playing alongside Tony Bennett and Bill Charlap on The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern are pianist Renee Rosnes (on the piano duet pieces), Peter Washington (bass) and Kenny Washington (drums). Unrelated, though sharing the same last name, Peter and Kenny have been performing with Bill Charlap for nearly two decades and pianist Renee Rosnes has been Charlap's life partner for close to 10 years.

With more than 700 Jerome Kern compositions to choose from, the set list for The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern is a distillation of essential highlights from a boundless catalog. With these interpretations of some of Jerome Kern's finest songs, Tony Bennett and Bill Charlap offer a definitive introduction to Kern's music while providing a deep understanding of the abiding and universal qualities of these songs.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 25, 2015)
  • Original Release Date: September 25, 2015
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Columbia
  • Run Time: 46 minutes
  • ASIN: B013YKOVL6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,332 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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My CD arrived today but I listened to the AutoRip last night because I have been a big Tony Bennett fan for years and wanted to hear this album as soon as I could! It is unequivocally a 5 Star album! The clarity and projection of Tony's voice defy his 89 years! He turned 89 on August 3rd. He gives a flawless performance that sounds like he could have recorded this album 20 years ago! Tony does not need Auto-Tune. All you need to do is to go to one of his concerts where he does the last song of the night without a microphone and projects his voice throughout a venue to verify that. Bill Charlap's piano compliments Tony's performances perfectly, as do the performances of Charlap's bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington! Even Frank Sinatra said "For my money, Tony Bennett is the best singer in the business. He excites me when I watch him. He moves me. He's the singer who gets across what the composer has in mind, and probably a little more." Tony Bennett is a National Treasure and I look forward to each album he releases. It may surprise some that I am a first generation Beatles fan but thanks to my Dad who raised me to appreciate many different types of music, I am also a Tony Bennett fan. Thanks Dad and Thank You Mr. Anthony Dominick Benedetto (Tony's birth name). Keep doing what you're doing Tony!
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Last fall, Tony Bennett released a fantastic vocal jazz record together with Lady Gaga, Cheek to Cheek (Deluxe). In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Lady Gaga said that she loved working with Tony Bennett, loved jazz, and that she planned to record “one jazz record a year, forever”. One year to the day later, Lady Gaga’s next jazz album is nowhere in sight. Instead, we have Tony Bennett, the octogenarian king of jazz, who basically reinvented the concept of the duet with his two duets albums, stretched that work with a pop diva, and now, much in the mold of his inimitable work with Bill Evans many years ago, we find him paired with one of today’s premier jazz pianists, Bill Charlap. And, as Tony has become one of the defining masters of the American songbook, he stays close to home by taking on a number of standards by Jerome Kern. The result is an eminently listenable, fascinating jazz record.

One big difference between this Bennett-Charlap recording and the Bennett-Evans recordings is that this time, they went ahead and used a full rhythm section on a number of the songs. With Peter Washington on bass and Kenny Washington on drums, the sound has more of a club atmosphere and less of the intimacy of the pure duets with Evans. Another difference is Bill calls in his life partner and fellow jazz pianist Renee Rosnes to do some fabulous piano duet work on four of the tunes. (As a jazz pianist, those tunes really stood out for me.) Throughout, the solos of Charlap tend to be more evenly constructed and hone closer to the original songs, especially so as each song is kept (for the most part) close to or under the classic three minutes twenty seconds time frame.
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[Still Later: Please take note of the comments by Mark Blackburn and Michael Woodward following this review (below). I've already used up my quota of words and space, but both commentators have emphasized (and delineated) the role of Renee Rosnes--Bill Charlap's (very) significant other--on some of the tracks. The two pianists complement each other and the featured vocalist so seamlessly as to elude even this listener's (normally) attentive ears.]

[Later: After repeated listenings I have an even greater appreciation of what this album accomplishes and represents--a work of love and an indisputable collective triumphant, thanks to the contributions of the legendary featured performer; the empathetic, near-telepathic support of his brilliant pianist; the beautifully understated contributions of bass (Peter Washington), drums (Kenny Washington--no relation), and finally an engineering team placing balance above bombast while taking "high fidelity" literally, or as, above all, "extreme faithfulness" to the original source--be it a vocalist's or an instrumentalist's or a composer's "voice" or the ensemble as a whole. Kern is at once one of American music's suspreme melodicists. ("All the Things You Are" is frequently cited as the quintessential American popular song.) And he is also one of American music's most ingenious harmonicists. (His chord changes--especially at the bridge--are notorious for their difficulty yet equally famous for their effectiveness.
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Album of the Decade. So classy in every single aspect - great composer, great singer with the amazing history and interpretive chops, great pianists, great trio, great recording, so classy and great. What a project, and fully realized. Thank you Tony and Bill and everyone!
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