Tony Bennett - Duets II

Number of Discs
Release Date
Tony Bennett
CD / Album
Label / Studio
Columbia / RPM Records / Sony Music / Sony Music Entertainment


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Tony Bennett’s first album of celebrity duets (2006's Duets: An American Classic) featured an impressive cast of superstars answering the call from the dean of pop vocalists, but the arrangements were overly safe -- virtually all of them ballads with soft strings or brassy finger-snappers. Duets II follows the first by five years and features, surprisingly, a cast just as star-laden, but also arrangements that are much more dynamic, and suitable for each song and its participants. (Marion Evans, a veteran whose career goes back nearly as far as Bennett's, handles the charts for a few of the best here.) Bennett, as ever in splendid voice and impeccable groove, laughs and trades lines with stars half his age (like John Mayer), or in the case of Lady Gaga, six decades younger, and clearly makes them so comfortable in this setting that it would be easy to believe that jazz vocals were their home. Standard fare yields standard results for the likes of Michael Bublé and Josh Groban, but all of these songs have something to contribute. Bennett is especially tender and expressive with k.d. lang on "Blue Velvet" (the two had already collaborated on a full album), and he clearly enjoys his pairing with Willie Nelson for "On the Sunny Side of the Street." (Nelson takes a guitar solo, and shows some of the vocal shadings that during the '60s made him as expressive a vocalist as Bennett.) The album wisely covers all bases, including stars of country music (Carrie Underwood, Faith Hill), R&B (Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin, Amy Winehouse), and one-shots for rock & roll (Sheryl Crow), Latin music (Alejandro Sanz), and classical (Andrea Bocelli). Celebrity musical pairings rarely lead to innovation or excitement, but Duets II is an enjoyable celebration of what Tony Bennett has meant to pop music, and what he can bring out in any star vocalist he steps up to the microphone with. ~ John Bush

1) The Lady Is a Tramp - Tony Bennett / Lady Gaga (03:18)
2) One for My Baby (And One More for the Road) - Tony Bennett / John Mayer (02:58)
3) Body and Soul - Tony Bennett / Amy Winehouse (03:23)
4) Don't Get Around Much Anymore - Tony Bennett / Michael Bublé (02:41)
5) Blue Velvet - Tony Bennett / k.d. lang (04:35)
6) How Do You Keep the Music Playing - Tony Bennett / Aretha Franklin (05:28)
7) The Girl I Love - Tony Bennett / Sheryl Crow (03:53)
8) On the Sunny Side of the Street - Tony Bennett / Willie Nelson (02:57)
9) Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me) - Tony Bennett / Queen Latifah (03:53)
10) Speak Low - Tony Bennett / Norah Jones (03:56)
11) This Is All I Ask - Tony Bennett / Josh Groban (04:36)
12) Watch What Happens - Tony Bennett / Natalie Cole (02:09)
13) Stranger in Paradise - Tony Bennett / Andrea Bocelli (05:03)
14) The Way You Look Tonight - Tony Bennett / Faith Hill (03:55)
15) Yesterday I Heard the Rain - Tony Bennett / Alejandro Sanz (03:44)
16) It Had to Be You - Tony Bennett / Carrie Underwood (03:51)
17) When Do the Bells Ring for Me - Tony Bennett / Mariah Carey (02:54)
18) [CD-ROM Track] -

Duets II
Sony Music Entertainment
Main Format
Explicit Lyrics
Keyword Index
Duets II | Tony Bennett