[JPL] tony bennett at tanglewood

Tom Reney tr at wfcr.org
Tue Jul 21 23:27:37 EDT 2009

The drive home was even worse than the drive out, but we had to attend 
Tony Bennett's magnificent concert in the Shed tonight.  Gray Sargent, 
gtr., Lee Musiker, piano, Marshall Wood, bass, Harold Jones, drums, all 
given generous showcases and playing beautifully.  Jones, who spent 
years with Count Basie, plays the quietest, hard swinging stick I've 
ever heard, and was featured on It Don't Mean a Thing.  Gray played 2- 
to 4-bar quotes from various weather songs all night, Isn't This a 
Lovely Day, Stormy Weather, etc.  Marshall duoed w Bennett on Speak 
Low.  I've seen Bennett about 10 times.  He'll turn 83 on 8/3, and he's 
still so complete, even a lot of dance steps, more than usual, and those 
amazing pipes.  He sang several ballads with Gray out front playing at 
the softest level imaginable and still saying so much.  These guys are 
able to make it a wonderful musical adventure because Bennett himself is 
so jazz oriented.  He forgot the words mid-way through The Best Is Yet 
to Come, admitted it, then said to the guys, "Keep going.  You're 
swinging so much!"  His last recording of Christmas songs with the Basie 
band showed some decline, but it must have been the day or the date, as 
he was really strong in this 75 minute show tonight.  Of course, the 
adoration helps.  There must have been 10 standing ovations, and he 
returns the applause with vigorous claps of his own toward the crowd and 
the cats on the band.  He concluded with a spine-tingling How Do You 
Keep the Music Playing and sustained the song's penultimate word, 
"never," for about 16 bars.  He took a few bows, but didn't return to 
sing anything else.
No one felt cheated.


Tom Reney
"Jazz à la Mode"
Monday-Friday, 8 - 11 p.m.
NPR News and Music for Western New England
Hampshire House
131 County Circle
Amherst, MA 01003-9257
tr at wfcr.org
413-545-3220 office
413-545-2546 fax

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