The Tony Bennett Bill Evans Album [Bonus Tracks]

The Tony Bennett Bill Evans Album [Bonus Tracks]

by Bill Evans, Tony BennettBill Evans

CD(Expanded / Remastered / Bonus Tracks)

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Having completed his relatively brief sojourn with MGM/Verve with 1973's Listen Easy, Tony Bennett was in the midst of forming his own label, Improv Records, when he made a deal with jazz pianist Bill Evans to cut two LPs, this one for Evans' label, Fantasy Records, with another to follow on Improv. The singer and his collaborator ("accompanist" does not adequately describe Evans' contribution, and in any case he received co-billing) got together in a recording studio over four days in June 1975 with no one other than the producer, Helen Keane and an engineer present, and quickly recorded one of the best albums of either's career. For Bennett, it was a dream project; for years (decades, actually), he had been balancing the demands of commerciality with his own inclinations toward jazz and affection for the songs of Broadway masters and of the Great American Songbook. Left to himself with a jazz partner, he naturally gravitated toward both interests. There were songs here that he had already recorded, but never in so unadorned and yet fully realized a fashion. Evans was an excellent accompanist, using his steady left hand to keep his singer centered, but ready, whenever the vocals were finished, to go off into his characteristically lyrical playing. Bennett could seem a bit earthbound when he came back in (he still wasn't really a jazz singer), but his obvious enthusiasm for the project, coupled with his mastery of phrasing in songs he understood perfectly made him an equal in the partnership. As far as the major-label record business was concerned, the 46-year-old singer might have been over the hill and indulging himself, but in fact he was in his prime and finally able to pursue his ambitions unfettered, and that would prove itself a major boost to his career over time. For the moment, he'd made an excellent jazz-pop hybrid in which both musicians were shown off to advantage. [The five alternate takes included as bonus tracks on the 2006 reissue of the album are, not surprisingly, more interesting for Evans' different improvisations than for anything else. But they also demonstrate that he and Bennett tried different approaches to the tunes. The album's lead-off track, "Young and Foolish," begins with both Bennett and Evans on the refrain, but the alternate take starts with Evans alone, followed by Bennett singing the song's introductory verse instead; the version runs a minute longer. The alternate take of "The Touch of Your Lips," on the other hand, is at a faster tempo and a minute shorter. None of the alternate takes actually improves on the originally released ones, but they show how well considered the album was.]

Product Details

Release Date: 11/07/2006
Label: Fantasy
UPC: 0888072301771
catalogNumber: 30177
Rank: 35743

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bill Evans   Primary Artist,Piano
Tony Bennett   Primary Artist,Vocals

Technical Credits

Leonard Bernstein   Composer
Henry Mancini   Composer
Frankie Laine   Composer
Tony Bennett   Drawing
Cy Coleman   Composer
Bill Evans   Composer
Gene Lees   Composer
Ray Noble   Composer
Greg Allen   Art Direction
Johnny Burke   Composer
Don Cody   Engineer
Betty Comden   Composer
Will Friedwald   Liner Notes
Adolph Green   Composer
Helen Keane   Audio Production,Original Album Producer
Orrin Keepnews   Executive Producer
Johnny Mercer   Composer
Cheryl Pawelski   Reissue Producer
James Van Heusen   Composer
Ned Washington   Composer
Victor Young   Composer
Phil Carroll   Art Direction
Carl Fischer   Composer
Phil Bray   Cover Photo,Inlay Photography
Carolyn Leigh   Composer
Albert Hague   Composer
Arnold B. Horwitt   Composer

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