Last night Mr. Snoots and I attended an incredibly delightful concert given by 87 year old Tony Bennett with our best friends in tow. We're all still totally giddy from the experience. Seriously. This talented singer wowed the crowd repeatedly with old standards such as "Fly Me to the Moon", "I Left My Heart In San Francisco", "The Best Is Yet To Come", and a tear-jerking rendition of Charlie Chaplin's song "Smile". He continues to be what I think of as *A Cool Cat*.
"Based upon a suggestion from a teacher at American Theatre Wing, he
developed an unusual approach that involved imitating, as he sang, the
style and phrasing of other musicians — such as that of Stan Getz's saxophone and Art Tatum's piano — helping him to improvise as he interpreted a song."
It was his own personal and unique style. Biddly bee bop de bop de bop... and so on.
Playing to a solidly full house for two hours, Mr. Bennett proved he can continue to belt out the songs with his still silky voice AND remember the words. For an 87 year old, that is quite some feat. His last number was performed *a capella* and with no microphone. There wasn't a dry eye in the place and when he was done, there wasn't a single person in their seat. I can't even count the standing ovations he received last night. We were duly mesmerized.
His show opens with none other than Tony's thirty-something daughter Antonia (also a jazz singer) who sang a handful of good old standards before she beckoned her father out onto the stage for his performance, which I considered a total treat. Clearly, she didn't inherit Tony's *pipes* but she's good and very professional in her delivery of said songs. Later in the show she returned to the stage to do a duet with her Dad and they even did a little *soft shoe* together. It was truly priceless.
Tony Bennett even graced us with 3 curtain calls and all four of us agreed that Mr. Bennett seemed hesitant to leave the stage, to our delight. He's just adorable! He might not be jumping around on stage like Mick Jagger at 70 years old but there is nothing about this man that represents his age of 87. He still has lots of bounce in his step and I can't help but wonder if we'll still be seeing him performing concerts in his 90's. This fan certainly hopes so.
I grew up on Tony Bennett's music... Along with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald and all
the other great singers of the 1950's and 1960's. My mother had all his
albums along with countless others. We were literally lulled to sleep
at night with old standards being sung by velvety smooth voices emitting from our hi-fi. I still
crave this stuff. I hope I always will.