When Tony Bennett recorded with Bill Evans, his career was at its nadir. He had lost his contract with Columbia and couldn't find work. Evans was of course still considered a Jazz genius, but 1973 wasn't a good time even for jazz geniuses. Why they ended up in the studio together is a mystery, but the outcome is pure magic.
Bennett was taking a huge chance. There was no orchestra to hide behind, and no pop arrangement to lean on - just the extremely musical but complex Evans playing as he sang. He could have been exposed as just another pop singer, and the chemistry with Evans, who rarely ever accompanied anyone, could have been horrible. But he pulls it off with aplomb!
There is so much richness in the whole album. For example, in "Young and Foolish", Evans forshadows melodic lines that Bennett will be singing as he plays beneath Bennett. The lushness of Bennett's voice is the perfect foil to Evans' harmonic intensity.
The irony is that Bennett, who had never been known as a jazz singer before, becomes known as one, probably on the basis of this album alone; yet, he didn't get back into the studio again for years. And of course for Evans, this album is yet further example of his genius. This is a classic.