Monday, December 02, 2013
Tony Bennett Live At Event Center, The Borgata, Atlantic City, NJ, November 30, 2013
It's true that Bennett's voice is not quite as smooth as it was during his heyday. It's just a little bit grainy at times and his delivery isn't as effortless as it used to be. However, the star's vocal chords are still very much intact and men half his age still can't sing as well as he can. Bennett isn't just living off of his past glories and wasting our time because the man still has the goods.
The set list was huge considering the brevity of the show. The proceedings moved quickly because Bennett frequently didn't sing every verse of his songs.
Bennett regaled us with a lot of hits and other selections from his back catalog. "For Once In My Life," "The Way You Look Tonight," "I Got Rhythm," "The Best Is Yet To Come," "I Left My Heart In San Francisco," and more helped fulfill everybody's evening.
Bennett also sang "That Old Black Magic," a track from his newly released CD, Bennett/Brubeck: The White House Sessions, Live 1962 recorded more than half a century ago with Dave Brubeck's famous quartet. The tapes were believed to be gone forever but they were recently discovered after Brubeck's passing and released earlier in 2013.
Bennett used neither a large orchestra nor a big band to hide behind. Instead, his excellent jazz quartet included Lee Musiker on grand piano and electric guitarist Gray Sargent. Marshall Wood assisted on acoustic bass, and Harold Jones, formerly of the Count Basie band, played drums. Each one was allowed some room to stretch out and show off their considerable chops.
When Bennett spoke his always naturally pleasant demeanor and class shined through. He was genuinely happy to be performing.
The evening opened with a twenty minute set featuring jazz tunes from the star's daughter, Antonia Bennett, who should not be singing professionally. It's a true case of nepotism and when Daddy's career finally comes to an end the odds are hers will too.