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Bill Evans & Tony Bennett (Vinyl) [Import]

Bill Evans , Tony Bennett LP Record
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Two giants together July 3 2004
Format:Audio CD
(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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5.0 out of 5 stars A Rare Eloquence June 9 2004
By MikeG
Format:Audio CD
For all the 'showbiz' gestures in much of his music, Tony Bennett could sing with a subtle jazz feeling (he recorded an album with the Count Basie Band) and he is one of the very finest interpreters of a ballad lyric. By 1975, the date of this session, Bill Evans had long established a very personal but influential approach to the jazz treatment of ballad material which transmuted its sentimentality into a kind of poetic lyricism, and he was revered for his ability to make the music (and the piano) "sing". So both artists had in common a deep respect for their material and the ability to express it with a rare eloquence, and those qualities make this a highly successful collaboration.
Anyone coming to the album without a familiarity with the pianist's work might be initially disconcerted by the absence of an overblown orchestral support; but what you get instead is a purity of attention to the melody and its lyric from the singer and his accompanist. Bennett inevitably takes most of the 'foreground' attention, interpreting each lyric without histrionic effect but with an intimacy and emotional sincerity rare in this type of music (there are no melodramatic, "My Way"-style 'production numbers' here). Evans accompanies with restraint and sensitivity but without submerging his distinctive musical personality. One of the pleasures of the album lies in following the way his accompaniments 'read' the moods and feelings of the lyrics from phrase to phrase, and his improvised solos develop out of, and lead back into, Bennett's choruses in a natural, integral way.
There are of course some lovely songs here, such as "But Beautiful" and "We'll be Together Again", which have, as they say, stood the test of time, and the Bennett-Evans treatment gives them a new freshness.
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5.0 out of 5 stars You Must Believe in Spring (and Tony and Bill) Nov. 5 2003
Format:Audio CD
I'm listening to this CD while writing this. Being carried by its power; (disciplined) romanticism; and the desire of the artists to present the material---lovingly, respectfully, from the heart.
The emotions welling up in me listening to these two masters in musical conversation are too profound and too personal to describe, so I'll simply say:
1. I'm not sure if these are the 'definitive' versions of these songs---or if such a thing can exist---BUT if there are better versions I don't know if I could bear to listen. I might keel over, never to be seen again.
2. For any musician; student of great songs (or interpreters thereof); music fan of discriminating taste; person with the ears to learn about life from great music; and most of all, anyone liking himself enough to want to experience special feelings too rarely expressed about life, and most often expressed through great art:
Do yourself a big favor and get this recording. Invest a few bucks. I wouldn't steer you wrong .
Honest.
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5.0 out of 5 stars It Gets the Full Five Stars Oct. 5 2003
Format:Audio CD
If you've read the other reviews, you know how sterling of a collaboration this was and is. Interestingly, this wasn't that "huge" of an album idea when it first came out. Bennett was sort of "old" and "Evans" had been (sometimes unfairly) criticized for years for not really stretching out.
So how does this 1975 date hold up in 2003? Very, very, well. Fans of vocal/instrumental collaborations would be hard pressed to find finer male singing than what is on display here. I think the comparison with the classic 1963 John Coltrane/Johnny Hartman date is somewhat appropriate, although I would say that this record is "different" and is in its own way a masterpiece. That's why it rates the full five stars in my book.
I won't even discuss Bill Evans' playing; everybody knows (or should know) what a legend he was and how influential he still is. For me, it's Tony Bennett's singing that stands out. Equal parts tender, and tough, subtle, and mature, equal parts grand yet intimate, this is pretty much Mr. Bennett's best singing. And what a treat it is. Both of these musicians are in fine and once in a blue moon control of their instruments and it's just wonderful to be a part of it.
Whether as evening music or as "homework" for aspiring singers or piano players, this album is a twentieth century benchmark that draws you in and hugs you like a warm fire on a cold and chilly night.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterwork from two top pros!
While the second collaboration of these two musical giants has gotten the better critical reception, in fact both Tony Bennett and Bill Evans albums are beyond reproach. Read more
Published on March 28 2004 by Thomas W. Altizer
4.0 out of 5 stars Quiet, lovely singing and playing...
Just Bill and Tony doing nine romantic songs. It reminds me of the John Coltrane/Johnny Hartman collaboration, and if you like that one, you'll also like this. Read more
Published on June 18 2003 by William E. Adams
4.0 out of 5 stars Just shy of being classic.
Bill Evans and Tony Bennett worked together surprisingly well. So much so that I wonder why they didn't work with each other a decade earlier. Read more
Published on Nov. 13 2002 by Andy Williamson
4.0 out of 5 stars Predictably fine, but twice is the charm.
Perhaps because I expected so much from this meeting of giants, the final result proved anticlimactic and unfullfilling. Read more
Published on June 21 2002 by Samuel Chell
5.0 out of 5 stars Tony Bennett's Favorite Album
I have been a fan of Bill Evans for almost forty years. In an interview several years ago in a Cleveland newspaper, Tony Bennett was asked if he had a favorite album among all... Read more
Published on June 19 2002 by Marty
5.0 out of 5 stars Evans at his Best
My piano teacher and I sat down today and re-listened to the 2 Evans-Bennett recordings. I can't add anything descriptive about the songs on this recording that haven't been... Read more
Published on Dec 28 2001 by Kenneth James Michael MacLean
5.0 out of 5 stars The delicate art of phrasing
Two masters of the delicate art of phrasing are captured forever on this masterpiece. Both Tony Bennett and Bill Evans complement each other: the former breathing new meaning into... Read more
Published on Dec 27 2001 by Don O.
5.0 out of 5 stars And Evans didn't think he was much of an accompanist . . .?
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... Read more
Published on Nov. 28 2001 by Paul Dana
5.0 out of 5 stars Agreed, superb
This disc exceeded even my high expectations. I don't have much to add to the other reviews. I will say that if you are using a fairly sophisticated playback system ($4K or more... Read more
Published on Aug. 7 2001 by ken nemeth
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