Bill Evans and Tony Bennett - JazzWax

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April 16, 2009


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Ed Leimbacher

chacun a son gout, Marc, but i am totally with Friedwald on these--have loved both LPs (i practically pounced on the first) since their initial release three-plus decades ago, and through all configurations since. i bought the new expanded set yesterday and am in heaven again, with the bonus tracks (new and old) as most welcome additional, and nicely varied, levels of beauty. i believe Tony never sang better. and Bill? in the early Seventies he was at a peak, his melodic flow unimpeded.

but differences of opinion don't really matter here; these sounds of surprise will live forever, no matter what you and i write.

Brian Sheridan

Thanks for this post! I am a big fan of Bennett, even to the point where we named our son Bennett. He is a great artist, singer and humanitarian on top of being a totally nice guy. But the Bennett/Evans releases left me cold. I rarely listen to them. Glad to see it wasn't just me. I'll have to download the release from Emusic and gave it a re-listen.


While I don't share Marc's reservations about these albums, I will agree that the second one is much better. On the first, Tony doesn't always sound like he's in the best key for his voice. Since the second was recorded for Tony's own label they had more time to work out keys and interpretations. There's some other excellent stuff on Tony's Improv label as well, most notably two sessions with Ruby Braff and George Barnes, which have remarkable chemistry and are some of Tony's most spontaneous sounding recordings.

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of a Song" (Grove) and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax is a two-time winner of the Jazz Journalists Association's best blog award.

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