by Jeff Becker
Tony Bennett is known for keeping top-notch company and collaborating with artists from other genres as well as the jazz genre. In 2007, Diana Krall was a part of a cavalcade of stars in the film, Tony Bennett: Duets – The Making of an American Classic. This time on Love Is Here To Stay, Bennett and Krall collaborate by celebrating the music of George and Ira Gershwin. The album is smartly released to coincide with the 120th anniversary of George Gershwin’s birthday. Bennett just turned 92 and this nonagenarian is showing no signs of slowing down. Krall in her prime is an excellent duet partner, as each respectfully support each other’s own unique style.
“My One and Only,” was a track I was particularly interested in hearing, a song composed by George Gershwin, with lyrics by Ira Gershwin, written for the 1927 musical Funny Face where it was introduced by Fred Astaire, Betty Compton and Gertrude McDonald. It was originally titled “(What Am I Gonna Do) If You Turn Me Down?” Material wise this tune fits squarely in the Krall repertoire. It almost sounds like a track that could have been on the Only Trust Your Heart album. Bennett and Krall are premier veterans, they both fit into the corners of the tune with refinement and rapport.
“Do It Again,” is familiar territory for Krall, she recorded the tune on her album When I Look In Your Eyes. The duo is sparkling together, even at times you can hear the joy in their smiles. Backed by the indelible Bill Charlap Trio featuring Charlap on piano, Peter Washington on bass and Kenny Washington on drums, the group is intimately entwined with the singers. Bennett has still got that spring in his step and the love of jazz standards in his heart. Another highlight of the album is “I’ve Got A Crush On You.” Krall and Bennett once again create a sophisticated styling together.
One would expect excellence from these two stalwart performers. What you get is so much more, they convey a refined meaning to each tune. Economic instrumentation keeps this an intimate sound and both Bennett and Krall create memorable moments of straight-ahead renditions of classic well-penned tunes that have delighted generations of classic jazz lovers.