Bill Evans & Tony Bennett (Vinyl) Import
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
I don't believe there is another pianist on the planet that can play at this level. It is a level of intricacy and understanding of music that left both of us shaking our heads in awe.
Tony Bennett is in fine form on this date, his voice clear and expressive. There seems to be an implicit understanding between pianist and vocalist about the music, and the timing between them is perfect. This date, and the follow-up 2 years later, are definitely worth purchasing. This is timeless music that will always remain fresh, no matter how many times it is heard.
Most recent customer reviews
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 morePublished on March 28 2004 by Thomas W. Altizer
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,... Read morePublished on Nov. 5 2003 by joel fass
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... Read morePublished on Oct. 5 2003 by Fred McGhee
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 morePublished on June 18 2003 by William E. Adams
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 morePublished on Nov. 13 2002 by Andy Williamson
Perhaps because I expected so much from this meeting of giants, the final result proved anticlimactic and unfullfilling. Read morePublished on June 21 2002 by Sam Chell
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 morePublished on June 19 2002 by Marty
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 morePublished on Dec 27 2001 by Don O.
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