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Bill Evans & Tony Bennett (Vinyl) Import


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1 used from CDN$ 538.03

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Product Details

  • LP Record (Oct. 25 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Ojc
  • ASIN: B000000YOA
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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By JayMusic on 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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By MikeG on June 9 2004
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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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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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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