Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Molto Benedetto

We'll get back on the beam with two in a row featuring two absolute luminaries of the American songbook.
Let's begin with a 31st anniversary concert, which I view as little more than an excuse to share stellar shows featuring living deities of music anyway.
Today's NYC native is, arguably, the single greatest living music person of the pre-Rock era, and possibly the most beloved still breathing.
After Frank Sinatra, I'd go with this guy as the greatest exponent of the period of incredible songsmithing that led up to our modern era.
It's a comfort to know the songs of craftsmen such as the Gershwin brothers and Cole Porter and Johnny Mercer will never die, in no small part because our hero of the day has kept those tunes animated and a part of the living songbook since our parents were in knickers.
He will be 93 the first week in August, but why wait to celebrate?
It's never not time for the sumptuous sounds of Anthony Benedetto, the painter. Whom we call, for the purposes of his perpetual and heroic stewardship of The Great American Songbook, simply Tony Bennett.
The thing I think I love most about Tony Bennett is the way in the late 1980s and 1990s, he reinvented himself as... himself. No Rock posturing and easy pandering pop plays. No deviation from who he was. Complete career resurrection devoid of any hint of compromise.
And yes he's still out there. In his Nineties. He may outlive us all and end up with Keith Richards as his last possible candidate for a duets record.
Here he is out front of the legendarily cooking Ralph Sharon Trio, taking a big crowd at one of the largest outdoor concert venues in upstate New York into the palm of his hand and the center of the song, way back three decades and a year ago today.
Tony Bennett
Lewiston, NY

01 As Times Goes By
02 The Girl I Love
03 It Had to Be You
04 Yesterdays
05 I Got Lost In Her Arms
06 What Are You Afraid Of
07 Everybody Has the Blues
08 When Do the Bells Ring for Me
09 I Wish I Were In Love Again
10 When Joanna Loved Me
11 They Say It's Wonderful
12 Russian Lullaby
13 Let's Face the Music and Dance
14 Shakin' the Blues Away
15 Let Yourself Go
16 I Love a Piano
17 When I Lost You
18 Medley: Isn't This a Lovely Day?/Change Partners
19 Stranger In Paradise
20 Just In Time
21 Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me)
22 I Left My Heart In San Francisco
23 encore interlude
24 They All Laughed
25 Fly Me to the Moon
26 From This Moment On
27 How Do You Keep the Music Playing
28 outro theme

Total time: 1:13:23

Tony Bennett - vocals
Ralph Sharon - piano
Joe LaBarbera - drums
Paul Langosch - bass

cassette master from the soundboard
slightly repaired and retracked by EN, June 2019
I will be back in less than 24 with the rejoinder to this post, featuring another galaxy class vocal star of the eternal firmament.
Enjoy this 73 minutes of heavenly artistry from today's Maestro, though... he's probably playing somewhere tonight and sending everyone home as happy as this Lewiston bunch were from this show, back 31 years ago.--J.