The Year of Tony Bennett wishes Tony and his wife Susan a very happy anniversary!
The fact that I’ve started this blog means that I have a fair amount to say about Tony Bennett. I’ve said some of it already, and there’s a lot more to come.
But it comes down to this–thank you, Tony Bennett.
Thank you for making so many wonderful albums. Thank you for continuing to appear in concert. And for playing the West Coast often enough for me to see you in concert pretty often. Thank you for writing your books. Thank you for everything you mean to those of us who love your art and music.
Thank you for letting us share in that.
Anthony Benedetto has three paintings hanging in the Smithsonian. His portraits of Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald hang in the National Portrait Gallery. This painting, Central Park, hangs at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in the Renwick Gallery.
A New Yorker at his core, Mr. Benedetto has created many lovely paintings of scenes from Central Park. This oil painting was created in 1998. You can read more about this painting here.
If you are a fan of Mr. Bennett’s live performances, I recommend that you download the iTunes Festival: London 2010 EP set of six songs, performed live in London. These recordings do not (as yet) exist on any released album. They are, without a doubt, on the top of my favorite cuts of his. Included on the set is:
- The Best Is Yet To Come
- Maybe This Time
- Sing You Sinners
- Who Care (So Long As You Care For Me)
- For Once In My Life
If you’re not already a fan of his live performances, well, you’re missing something wonderful. Again, try this set for $5.99.
Mr. Bennett is accompanied by Lee Musiker (piano), Gray Sargent (guitar), Marshall Wood (bass) and Harold Jones (drums). The quartet is wonderful–on this EP set as well as in the live performances I’ve seen.
This link will take to you the proper location in ITunes. If you already have this, consider gifting it to a friend.
Mr. Bennett has recorded (to my knowledge) three versions of this song. All vastly different from each other.
|Long Ago and Far Away 1958 with Frank DeVol and his Orchestra|
|Recorded in 1997 with the Ralph Sharon Trio. Appears on Rarities, Outtakes and Other Delights, Vol. 2 and
Tony Bennett Sings the Ultimate American Songbook 2007
|Duets II 2011
Sung with Faith Hill. With Lee Musiker, Gray Sargent, Marshall Wood, and Harold Jones
Arranged and conducted by Jorge Calandrelli
It’s no secret that I tend to prefer the recordings by Mr. Bennett with a smaller group and that I often prefer the later recordings over the earlier recordings. Therefore, it’s no surprise that of these three versions, I most love the 1997 version where he’s accompanied by the Ralph Sharon Trio.
The original version and the Duets II version with Faith Hill are lovely, sweet and optimistic. Tony’s optimism is one of my favorite things about his singing. In both of these versions, I feel that these lovers will always be together and that they will always remember the way you look tonight.
In the 1997 version, there is a deep and profound sadness and this sweet and happy song is turned into a ballad. This version makes me feel that the singer knows that the relationship may be ending and that this very moment and they way she looks tonight may be the last and and most important memory that he will have. It’s sad and moving and full of love. But love, as we know, isn’t always happy.
The Way You Look Tonight
This song was originally written for 1936’s Swing Time and was sung (beautifully) by Fred Astaire. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Song.Music: Jerome Kern Lyrics: Dorothy Fields
Some day, when I’m awfully low,
When the world is cold,
I will feel a glow just thinking of you
And the way you look tonight.
Oh but you’re lovely, with your smile so warm
And your cheeks so soft,
There is nothing for me but to love you,
And the way you look tonight.
With each word your tenderness grows,
Tearing my fear apart
And that laugh that wrinkles your nose,
Touches my foolish heart.
Lovely, never, never change.
Keep that breathless charm.
Won’t you please arrange it ?
Cause I love you, just the way you look tonight.
Just the way you look tonight.