Tony Bennett & Diana Krall – Love Is Here To Stay – Verve Records

Tony Bennett & Diana Krall – Love Is Here To Stay – Verve Records B07FJ92MMW 36:22****:

( Tony Bennett – vocals; Diana Krall – vocals; The Bill Charlap Trio – Bill Charlap – piano; Peter Washington – bass; Kenny Washington – drums)

The May/December musical relationship between Tony Bennett and Diana Krall on Love Is Here To Stay is all too brief. In fact it lasts a little over thirty-six minutes. However during that time, these two consummate pros dish out a sparkling songbook of George and Ira Gershwin melodies that makes one suggest “Do It Again”.

At an age when most individuals, not just entertainers, have long since retired, Tony Bennett continues to live up to the accolade bestowed on him by Frank Sinatra in 1965 when he said: ” for my money Tony Bennett is the best singer in the business”. Canadian born Diana Krall’s career has been on an upward trajectory since the release of her first album in 1993 entitled Stepping Out. Bennett and Krall have enjoyed a long friendship which included touring together in 2000, as well as recording duets for two Bennett albums; Duets and Playin’ With My Friends.

In addition to the wonderful lyric interpretative abilities of Bennett and Krall, the album has a special sparkle due to the imaginative arrangements by pianist Bill Charlap along with the impeccable playing by his trio that includes  Peter Washington on bass and Kenny Washington on drums.

Most of the tracks on this release are not terribly long and tend to follow a similar format. Bennett and Krall alternate stanzas or occasionally lines within the stanza, with a full run of the lyrics. Then Charlap and the trio take over with some extemporaneous playing, to be picked up again by the singers with a reprise of all or part of the lyrics.

The Gershwin’s, of course, never wrote a bad song, and if they did, it is certainly not on display here. There are several of their compositions that are somewhat more lengthy than most tracks and thereby Bennett and Krall take full advantage of this to explore these themes. Some examples are “Love Is Here To Stay”, “Somebody Loves Me”, “I’ve Got A Crush On You” and “They Can’t Take That Away From Me”. These numbers are delivered with a mix of mastery and spirit, coupled with their good-natured and sensitive collaboration.

There are a couple of solo efforts starting with Diana Krall on “But Not For Me” where she is accompanied only by Bill Charlap. The number is offered as a slow ballad and showcases her elegant tone and sparse turn of phrase. Bennett’s number is “ Who Cares” with the Charlap trio. Taking an up tempo approach, Bennett demonstrates that his intrepid personality has not deserted him.

TrackList:
’S Wonderful
My One And Only
But Not For Me
Nice Work I
You Can Get It
Love Is Here To Stay
I Got Rhythm
Somebody Loves Me
Do It Again
I’ve Got A Crush On You
Fascinating Rhythm
They Can’t Take That Away From Me
Who Cares;

—Pierre Giroux

Link to more information and track samples here:

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