THE SILVER LINING
Tony Bennett occupies a unique place in music. Not only is he still singing at 89, he is generating some of his best work, and meanwhile is still considered sufficiently cool to hold appeal for four generations of listeners simultaneously. Of course his upper range has shrunk, as has the duration for which he can hold some notes, but Bennett works within these limitations so astutely that you could listen to this and think he was now singing much as he did in the 1960s. Indeed many core elements remain in place, such as the effortless phrasing, bronze tone and utter conviction.
This project has its roots in pianist Bill Charlap’s stunning 2002 tribute to Hoagy Carmichael, Stardust, on which Bennett was a guest and sang the best version of I Get Along Without You Very Well you will ever hear. Now they turn their attention exclusively to the brilliance of Jerome Kern, joined by Charlap’s peerless rhythm section of Peter Washington and Kenny Washington, and with Renee Rosnes intermittently playing a second piano.