The album of the day for Tuesday, October 28, 2014 is Tony Sings For Two.
Fifty-five years ago today, October 28, 1959, Tony Bennett and Ralph Sharon had what must have been one of the most incredible recording sessions ever. They came into the studio without a set list or arrangements. Just a couple of briefcases full of sheet music of songs from the American songbook.
Just Tony Bennett and Ralph Sharon on piano. No other instruments. Just these two musicians.
They went through the music, decided whether or not to record it, noodled around a bit and then recorded it. Nineteen songs recorded in a single, day-long session, thirteen of which appeared on the album Tony Sings For Two. For whatever reason, Columbia didn’t release this album until February, 1961. At least they released it.
About This Album
Tony Sings For Two is one of my most favorite of his albums. I do recognize that I love his singing best with fewer instruments, not more. These days, hearing him with his wonderful quartet is perfect.
But this album is quite outstanding, especially when you consider the music that was popular in the early 1960s. I call is the “Melachrino Strings Effect” but I’ve known for a very long time that I’m more of a big band kind of person. This album, with a voice in its prime and an exceptional jazz pianist, is very close to perfect.
It’s one of the things I love about Bennett’ voice: then and now. He never hides behind the arrangements like some singers do. Today, at the age of 88, he’s out on the road with a piano, bass, guitar and drums and comes out on stage and sings. It’s about the music. It’s really amazing.
So, I hope you enjoy our first album of the day. This album certainly deserves that honor.