Personnel includes: Tony Bennett, k.d. Lang (vocals); Percy Faith, Ray Conniff, Frank DeVol, Ralph Burns, Marty Manning, Don Costa, Johnny Mandel, Torrie Zito, Robert Farnon (arranger, conduct); Al Cohn (tenor saxophone); Bobby Hackett (cornet); Jimmy Rowles, Tommy Flanagan (piano); Count Basie & His Orchestra; Ralph Sharon Trio.
Producers include: Mitch Miller, Ernie Altschuler, Teo Macero, Danny Bennett,
Compilation producers: Steve Berkowitz, Didier C. Deutsch.
Recorded between 1951 & 2001.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
It's almost shocking to realize that before this collection's release, the career of musical legend Tony Bennett had been extensively anthologized only in box-set format and never by a career-spanning two-disc compilation. Upon inspection, it seems like the ultimate no-brainer--pick some of the mainly highlights from this vocal sensation's 50-year career, put them in chronological order, and let the magic happen.
Happen it does, as we're treated to gems from every phase of Bennett's oeuvre. Casual listeners may be surprised to learn that the '50s found Tony successfully reinventing Hank Williams's "Cold Cold Heart" alongside more customary fare such as signature song "Rags to Riches." No one will be shocked at the very necessary inclusion of the '60s comeback smash "I Left My Heart in San Francisco," but those who think of Bennett as an artifact belonging only to Sinatra's time will be educated by the subsequent material included here. From the sinuously jazzy "Steppin' Out with My Baby" to a moving take on the Elllington evergreen "Mood Indigo" and an album-closing duet with K.D. Lang, the more contemporary material here makes just as convincing a case as the earlier work for Bennett as THE living master of the Great American Songbook.