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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Tony Bennett BBC 2

More documentary than performance, I don't think it quite came off although that is not to say it wasn't watchable.
Despite shots of Tony performing at the 2005 Montreal Jazz Festival they were infuriatingly interspersed with all manner of 'historical' references to the song - usually involving Fred Astaire (not that I've anything against Fred Astaire and the others) and, in truth, despite the pre-program blurb, the only jazz came from the unidentified musicians in the accompanying group.
Having said all that, the bel canto voice of yore may have gone but, to my ears, the husky croak that is its replacement puts over a lyric with much more feeling and sensitivity than the original ever did.
This is one fine vino that has definitely matured with age and hopefully will continue to do so for some time to come.


Anonymous said...

Well, I did enjoy it of course, how could you not? I did feel though that there was too much talking & not enough singing. The way they kept interjecting was irritable.
It makes me almost want to cry for what we have lost in superb entertainers. The clips of Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Jimmy Durante, Mel Brooks, these were the people I grew up with, they were giants in the world of entertainment, how fortunate to have lived though it, as there is just no one to touch them. I did think his voice showed flaws as he got older, but always he interpreted the lyric the way the writer meant it to be, just as Sinatra did. He only sang the best too, making every performance fresh, and he looked at all times as though he was really enjoying himself. A humble man who endeared you to him for that very reason. I thought that Clint Eastwood came over in a lovely relaxed fashion, they gelled well.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed it although a bit too 'drooling' for me. The guitarist is Gray Sargent - has been part of his gigging quartet for a while now I think. Looks a bit like Tal Farlow. Rather surprised at Bill Evan's medallion (how curious)- would never have thought of him as 'medallion man' but there you go.
Jimmy Durante was the star of the show?

Hil said...

Tony still holds magic for me. My daughter and I sat often with tears in our eyes during the programme.
I agree they did talk too much during his songs. Why the heck do they feel the need to keep interrupting? did their Mams never tell them it was rude?
The lovely song bird Anne(now living in France) and I saw Tony at the City Hall about 10 yrs(?) ago. We had the corner seats on the balcony as the best had all been sold. Although you know what folks, we had the best seats in the house, we were over looking the stage, and Tony stood and made eye contact and sung to 'just us' on more than one occasion during the performance.
I will never forget that night for the rest of my was wonderful.

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