Entertainment Weekly - 12/1/00, p.103
"...A well-chosen collection....reaffirming Bennett's evolving vocal artistry." - Rating: A
Personnel: Tony Bennett (vocals); Jimmy Rowles, Tommy Flanagan (piano).
Liner Note Authors: Frank Sinatra; Tony Bennett.
Recording information: 04/04/1951-07/16/1993.
Photographers: Don Hunstein; Lois Greenfield; Mark Seliger; Nigel Parry; Herman Leonard.
Arrangers: Don Costa; Johnny Mandel; Al Cohn; Marty Manning; Percy Faith; Ray Conniff; Frank DeVol.
Throughout his career, Tony Bennett has managed to be both a singer's singer and a first rate entertainer--not nearly as easy as it sounds. Though blessed with a beautiful natural timbre, Bennett doesn't settle for merely caressing our eardrums. A popular singer by definition, Bennett's style is informed by jazz phrasing and rhythm. And while mostly known for the heart he brings to his material, there is also ample evidence of nuanced thinking going into what comes out.
On this excellent collection that highlights his recordings for Columbia spanning five decades, Bennett's famous ardor and aesthetic honesty are omnipresent. The requisite chestnuts--"I Left My Heart in San Francisco," "Rags to Riches," "Boulevard of Broken Dreams"--are all here, as befits any ultimate Bennett collection, but we're also treated to the more intimate fare of Bennett with long-time associates the Ralph Sharon Trio on "Steppin' Out With My Baby," a very early take on "Blue Velvet," and a suave-meets-down-and-dirty "Mood Indigo."