Inarguably popular music's top song stylist, Tony Bennett joined together with the legendary jazz pianist Bill Evans for two albums of sublime duets recorded in 1975 and 1976.
Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the legendary Tony Bennett/Bill Evans sessions, venerated as a special moment in the history of jazz, The Complete Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Recordings 180-gram vinyl package features the two original albums, plus two discs' worth of alternate takes and bonus tracks!
- Collector's Edition 180g 4LP Box Set
- Includes 12-page booklet with comprehensive liner notes and rare photos
- Collectible 12" x 12" photo of the two musicians
- 2 LPs of alternate takes
- Tony Bennett remains especially proud of these sessions with Bill Evans, citing them as the most satisfying projects of his long career
Forty years ago, renowned entertainer Tony Bennett joined together with legendary jazz pianist Bill Evans for their first of two duet albums. The result was 1975's The Tony Bennett / Bill Evans Album, followed by Together Again the following year. To celebrate this incredible coupling of talents, Fantasy Records, a unit of Concord Music Group, has released a deluxe, 180-gram vinyl box set, The Complete Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Recordings _ which features the two albums, plus two discs' worth of alternate takes and bonus tracks and deluxe 12-page booklet featuring rare images and extensive liner notes by Will Friedwald (co-author of Tony Bennett's autobiography, The Good Life).
This unique pairing began with 1975's The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album, recorded during an intimate session at Fantasy Studios (producer Helen Keane and an engineer were the only other people present). At work in equal partnership, Bennett and Evans selected the tunes, worked out the arrangements semi-spontaneously, and, later, picked the final takes to be used. Bennett recalls that the pair didn't even discuss song choices before the session: –I would name a tune, and Bill would say, 'That's good, let's do that.' We'd find a key and then the two of us would work it out."
The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album features a selection of classics from the Great American Songbook ("The Days of Wine and Roses," "Young and Foolish," "The Touch of Your Lips"), as well as a moving rendition of the Evans' classic tune "Waltz for Debby" (with lyrics written by Gene Lees). A consistently enthusiastic and balanced musical team, Bennett and Evans shine both individually and in tandem.
In 1976, Bennett and Evans returned to the studio for Together Again. Another low-lights, high-improv date of standards that opens with an Evans solo rendition of –The Bad and the Beautiful" and continues with such moving renditions of "Lucky to Be Me," "You're Nearer," and "You Don't Know What Love Is." Another Evans original, "The Two Lonely People" (with lyrics by Carol Hall), also graces the playlist.
Both sessions in which Bennett and Evans recorded together in the same room, not in isolation booths (a recording preference that Bennett has practiced throughout his recording career) yielded several fine alternate takes that are included, as well as bonus tracks from the second date.
With such palpable energy and nearly telepathic interplay, these recordings have garnered critical awe over the years since their release. London's The Guardian noted in 2009, –The outcome of this intimate duet highlighted the sublime creative accompanist in Evans, and the deep jazz sensitivities of the vocal legend "the two sound as if they're having the time of their lives." The BBC mused, "It seems impossible that these two giants of understated musical sophistication went into the studio with no idea of what they would record. They plucked one definitive performance after another out of thin air to produce a nine-track album called, with straightforward simplicity, The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album that was bettered only by its solitary follow-up, the following year's Together Again."
LP Track Listings:
LP 1: The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album (1975)
1. Young And Foolish
2. The Touch Of Your Lips
3. Some Other Time
4. When In Rome
5. We'll Be Together Again
1. My Foolish Heart
2. Waltz For Debby
3. But Beautiful
4. Days Of Wine And Roses
LP 2: Together Again (1976)
1. The Bad And The Beautiful
2. Lucky To Be Me
3. Make Someone Happy
4. You're Nearer
5. A Child Is Born
1. The Two Lonely People
2. You Don't Know What Love Is
3. Maybe September
4. Lonely Girl
5. You Must Believe In Spring
LP 3: Bonus Tracks and Alternate Takes
Bonus tracks from the 1976 Together Again sessions
1. Who Can I Turn To?
2. Dream Dancing
Alternate takes from the 1975 The Tony Bennett / Bill Evans Album sessions
3. Young And Foolish (Alternate, Take 4)
4. The Touch Of Your Lips (Alternate, Take 1)
5. Some Other Time (Alternate,Take 7)
6. When In Rome (Alternate, Take 11)
1. Waltz For Debby (Alternate, Take 8)
Alternate takes from the 1976 Together Again sessions
2. The Bad And The Beautiful (Alternate, Take 1)
3. The Bad And The Beautiful (Alternate, Take 2)
4. Make Someone Happy (Alternate, Take 5)
5. You're Nearer (Alternate, Take 9)
6. A Child Is Born (Alternate, Take 2)
7. A Child Is Born (Alternate, Take 7)
LP 4: Alternate Takes (Continued)
Alternate takes from the 1976 Together Again sessions (continued)
1. The Two Lonely People (Alternate, Take 5)
2. You Don't Know What Love Is (Alternate, Take 16)
3. You Don't Know What Love Is (Alternate, Take 18)
4. Maybe September (Alternate, Take 5)
5. Maybe September (Alternate, Take 8)
1. Lonely Girl (Alternate, Take 1)
2. You Must Believe In Spring (Alternate, Take 1)
3. You Must Believe In Spring (Alternate, Take 4)
4. Who Can I Turn To? (Alternate, Take 6)