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The Tony Bennett / Bill Evans Album

4.8 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 1, 1991
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Mel Torme dismissed Tony Bennett's skills as a jazz singer, and in mining the Great American Songbook, Bennett certainly has drawn more from bel canto style than scat. But as this remarkable 1975 duo album with the great jazz pianist Bill Evans demonstrates, Bennett was (and is) supremely comfortable with jazz and jazz players. Pouring himself into tunes including "My Foolish Heart" and "The Touch of Your Lips," but without the theatrical and pop-operatic flourishes that define and enrich his later work, he delivers what may be his most powerfully direct performance on record. His bold emotion and Evans’ refined but forceful lyricism make for an excellent fit (the album includes Evans's classic "Waltz for Debby," with lyrics by Gene Lees). The new expanded edition of The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album boasts four valuable alternate takes that reveal the jazz improviser's art was far from lost on Bennett. The artists re-teamed a year later to fine, if less startling, effect on "Together Again." --Lloyd Sachs

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Young And Foolish
  2. The Touch Of Your Lips
  3. Some Other Time
  4. When In Rome
  5. We'll Be Togheter Again
  6. My Foolish Heart
  7. Waltz For Debby
  8. But Beatiful
  9. Days Of Wine And Roses


Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 1, 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Original Jazz Classics
  • ASIN: B000000YOB
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #153,532 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
My father introduced me to Bill Evans' music when I was a youngster. Many years later, after his death, I was sorting through the "cob web bin" in the local public library and I found this album - on cassette. I'd heard of it but never had the chance to listen to it before. I checked it out and was floored. This was released when I was a senior in high school. By that time my father and I weren't communicating very well...
To make a long story short, listening to this album brought back so many memories of Dad that I just had to buy it for myself. The songs themselves are all wonderful, recorded with a "you are there" intimacy (listen for Tony clearing his throat mid-phrase on 'When in Rome'). Bill, as usual, could evoke beautiful sounds just by looking at a key board.
Think of the most romantic setting possible with your loved one. Adding this album can only improve it. 'Young and Foolish', 'The Touch of Your Lips' and 'Waltz for Debbie' are the best of the lot, in my opinion, but all of them are delicious.
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Format: Audio CD
I grew up listening to Tony Bennett (on a little radio--tuned to a.m. of course-- in my grandmother's kitchen) and the only thing that could make him any better is the pairing with brilliant pianist, Bill Evans. These songs, recorded in June of 1975, do exactly what they're supposed to do; exactly what they're designed to do. Evans's piano and Bennett's voice create the perfect marriage of harmony and sophisitication. "Waltz for Debby"--a well-known Evans tune--is masterfully handled; of course all the tracks are. This is perfect cocktail music, but it transcends all categorization. Sometimes when I listen to it I feel like I'm in a Scorsese flick. Other times I feel like I'm right in the studio when the songs were being lain down. Sometimes I feel like I'm back in my grandmother's kitchen.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
(On Fantasy) A gem from 1975, and a warm and surprisingly rich album. It's such a treat to hear Bill Evans' thoughtful accompaniment behind Bennett, as just the two of them (and no echo!) take on "Some Other Time", The Touch of Your Lips", "Some Other Time", "Young and Foolish", Waltz For Debby" and others. For those familiar with Evans' other versions of these staples from his song book, its fascinating to hear these with what he does behind Tony Bennett, who never sounded warmer and more expressive. The choices of tunes reflects a lyrical bonanza of rich standards, and the two artists come through in a timely and intimate fashion.Even DOWNBEAT gave it 5 stars when it was released. Fans of this album would probably also want to check out "Together Again"-- the second Evans session with Tony Bennett. Originally recorded for Bennett's long defunct Improv label, it's been re- released on Rhino Records with many bonus tracks and alternate takes. It's not as effective as THIS album, but it works well.
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Format: Audio CD
If you look at Tony Bennett's career, you will find his recordings fall well short of his live performances. He has been compared often and favorably to Frank Sinatra, and his recordings pale especially against Sinatra's. For a given record/CD, Sinatra had a clear idea of the songs, the feel of the album and the musical texture. As noted in Will Friedwald's wonderful book, Sinatra was deeply concerned that his recordings would last.

In contrast, Tony Bennett's recordings were mediocre at best. Why? My thought is that Bennett chose not to challenge himself in the studio, either with material and certainly not with musicians.

But this CD and its sequel are from another galaxy. Just one musician gets the recorded Bennett out of his studio lethargy. Bill Evans, that exquisite pianist challenges Bennett from the first track of this CD and does not let up for a nanosecond. You can hear the effect.

It starts with the first word of the first track, Bennett's voice is deeper, huskier and different on "Young and Foolish". It continues all through the last chords of Days of Wine and Roses.

My only quibble is that the CD ends.
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Format: Audio CD
I'm a jazz pianist/accompanist. OK, then, so I'm obviously a Bill Evans devotee (and any working jazz pianist who denies Evans' influence is -- are you listening here, Brad Mehldau? -- in some serious denial, to say the least!). Having admitted to my bias going in, let me say this:
Throughout his maddeningly all-too-short career, Evans was at his absolute best when working in collaboration, whether it be in a trio, sextet (as with Miles Davis or, on one recording session, with Chet Baker), or -- in this case -- a duo setting . . . with Tony Bennett, who early in his training had been taught to treat his voice -- and pattern it -- as a specific instrument (he chose tenor sax, by the way).
Evans never thought of himself as a singer's accompanist. He was wrong. There's a 1963 album he recorded, for example, with German vocalist Monica Wetteland, which proves how totally off he was in his self-assessment. But then, there's also THIS particular album with Bennett . . .
Perhaps, though, he responded to Tony Bennett as a fellow musician; maybe that's what makes this particular collaboration shine to the ultimate degree.
There are times in this album when, to this day, I wonder if they didn't sneak in a third musician. Witness, for example, Evan's lead-in to "Some Other Time" (a fairly obscure Comden-Greene number): with his inimitable touch, he echoes bassist Paul Chambers' intro to 'Flamenco Sketches' ("Kind of Blue," the Miles Davis Sextet) as he leads Bennett into the 'meat' of the song. What follows -- from both singer and 'accompanist' -- is sheer magic, the art of collaboration personified.
Each song on the CD mirrors this virtually letter-perfect collaboration.
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