The Tony Bennett / Bill Evans Album – The Best Male Vocal Recording of the Era

More Bill Evans

More Tony Bennett

 

xxxxx

This album, when heard on the best Hot Stamper pressings, ranks right up at the top of the All Time Great Male Vocal Recordings from any era. Bennett’s voice sounds wonderfully rich, BREATHY, and above all REAL.

For a Popular/Jazz Vocal album produced in 1975, or, to be honest, the entire decade of the Seventies, we can think of no other that is its sonic equal.

The soundstage is open and spacious, the piano full-bodied and clear, and the vocals have the clarity and fullness missing from most pressings. It’s incredible to hear these two top-notch musicians interacting and responding to each other in this kind of huge, open and natural space.

The Acoustic

This is a studio recording in a fairly dead acoustic, worlds away from the echo-drenched sound of his Columbia releases, so for practically the first time on record you can really hear the man’s voice, not the echo chamber they used to process it.

Bill Evans may play the largest piano ever built — it stretches from wall to wall when played over here, not particularly realistic but nothing to get upset over. On the best copies it really has the clarity and heft of the real thing; you can hear the pedal being actuated in the quieter passages if you listen closely. The tonality is also dead on. (A good test for your stereo.)

The overall sound is open, spacious, and tonally correct from top to bottom. It’s a recording with no trace of bad mastering or phony EQ. (I can just imagine what Mobile Fidelity did to make it sound “better” when they remastered it.)

Waltz for Debby is the best thing here. You want to hear the Bennett-Evans Magic? Go right to that track.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Young And Foolish
The Touch Of Your Lips
Some Other Time
When In Rome
We’ll Be Together Again

Side Two

My Foolish Heart
Waltz For Debby
But Beautiful
Days Of Wine & Roses
My Foolish Heart
Waltz For Debby

AMG Review

Tony Bennett has always had an affinity for good pianists, and many of his best performances have been with trios or solo piano, so when he got the chance to make the kind of records he wanted to in the mid-1970s, a pairing with jazz pianist Bill Evans was a natural. This is a true duet, with Evans getting considerable solo time. A low-key effort, but an effective one.