Fresh off the success of his Grammy-Award winning album with Lady GaGa, Cheek To Cheek, musical veteran Tony Bennett is back. His latest covers album The Silver Lining: The Songs Of Jerome Kern celebrates the work of Jerome David Kern (1885-1945), who was one of America’s most important composers in musical theatre and popular music.
Written for the 1939 musical Very Warm For May, All The Things You Are opens the celebratory album with the familiar Bennett charm, which involves his slick vocals backed by smooth arrangements. It wouldn’t be a Tony Bennett record without jazz standards: I Won’t Dance became popular in 1935 after lyrics were written for it to be included in the film adaptation of the musical Roberta. Bill Charlap’s work on the piano snares the senses throughout the album, creating the ideal musical correlation between the keys and Tony’s vocal work.
Tony covers The Song Is You joining the likes of Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, his version also does the song justice with its neat piano work and spot on vocals. Jerome Kern tasted major success with his Broadway hit They Didn’t Believe Me from the 1914 musical The Girl From Utah, Bennett’s take on this song captures the song’s character with grace and warmth. Other notable works on the album include The Way You Look Tonight, the fun Make Believe and the mellow Look For The Silver Lining.
Tony Bennett is one of the most dedicated musicians of all time and at 89 years old shows no signs of slowing down, even if The Silver Lining consists of covers that somebody his age could appreciate; you won’t catch any of today’s artists touching Jerome Kern’s work in a heartbeat, but it’s a different generation. Once again Tony Bennett releases an album worthy of jumping in a time machine for: Jerome Kern would be proud.