October 23, 2017

Tony Bennett turns 88 this week

My first music job in Chicago was at an upscale Chinese restaurant called Dr. Shen’s above Morton’s on State Street. One night early in my run there, I greeted guests who were sitting next to my white baby grand piano and asked them if they had any requests. Mid-sentence, I realized I was talking to Tony Bennett.
He was absolutely charming and wished me well in my career, neophyte that I was.

Over the years, I marveled at his ability to ride the up and down waves of popularity while recording and performing the best old and new songs. His artistry reached a pinnacle with his recordings done with the inimitable pianist, Bill Evans with a 4 LP set now available on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Tony-Bennett-Evans-Recordings/dp/B00SSL4ELE

I finally got to hear Bennett perform at Ravinia a couple of summers ago and he was still the consummate gentleman and performer.

Many people don’t realize that Bennett is a talented painter when not delivering a literate lyric. May he continue to paint and sing for many years to come.

Ella painted by Tony Bennett

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