Friday, May 20, 2011

Tony Bennett - A Miracle at 85...

When I was a kid, the crooner of that time was Bing Crosby. I thought of him as a kind of vocal Methuselah, singing sweet nothings in his sixties.
Then came Blue Eyes; that is, Frank Sinatra, who made it well into his seventies as both the leading crooner and a talented actor.
And now our present time has one Tony Bennett, who, at age 85, is simply magical in his story-telling through the popular ballads America has housed for the better part of a century.
I have always been enthralled by the indestructible youth these crooners project, as youth, in its longing, loving and constant search for boundlessness is so innately elemental in these singers who were and are old enough to be grandfathers. Torme comes to mind, as he always sounded like a lovestruck teenager right up into the '90's.
At any rate; in the event you don't know - Tony Bennett produced a CD and video in 2006, in his 80th year, of duets sung with a handful of the world's most popular singers, such as Barbra Streisand, Stevie Wonder, Bono, Sting, Diana Krall and others. It is a sensational disc, as Bennett weaves his way around and through each of these pop stars, and, in my view, creates ways to fuse to and essentially BECOME each of these singers in a way I could not have contemplated as a possibility - do listen to this immensely gifted crooner, in this format.
It has recently been announced that Bennett will present a second release of duets late in September, with some repeat performers, along with new talents known to all who follow Bennett and his venerable career, a career unlike any other in the pop field.
By the way, be reminded that Bennett is also a gifted painter, and there is, in regularity, an incessant parade of his works in various exhibits throughout the country, and probably in Europe as well. Why not punch that button and look at his paintings, along with Sinatra, who also had talents as a painter -
Artistic gifts, coupled with a long life - a number of artists have so been anointed, and give us so very much....

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