Tony Bennett Celebrates 90 (Columbia)

Tony Bennett

Released December 16, 2016

Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album 2018




In August of 2016, the one and only Tony Bennett celebrated the milestone occasion of his 90th birthday. This album, Tony Bennett Celebrates 90, is the companion to Tony’s birthday celebration event, that was filmed in front of a live audience at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on September 15th, 2016. That show will air in December, 2016 as a prime-time television special on NBC, called “Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best Is Yet To Come.” This celebration featured performances by Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder, Michael Bublé, Andrea Bocelli, Kevin Spacey, Tony Bennett and many others. Additionally, performances by Billy Joel and Elton John were taped at alternate locations and will appear in the broadcast and on the album.
Bennett is one of a handful of artists to have new albums charting in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and now in the first two decades of the 21st century. He has introduced a multitude of songs into the Great American Songbook that have since become standards for pop music. He has toured the world to sold out audiences with rave reviews whenever he performs, and has sold over 50 million records worldwide.

Track Listing:

1. The Lady Is a Tramp (Lorenz Hart / Richard Rodgers) featuring Lady Gaga 3:26

2. The Good Life (Jack Reardon / Sacha Distel) feat. Michael Bublé 3:19

3. Ave María (Franz Schubert / Phillip Keveren) feat. Andrea Bocelli 5:21

4. The Very Thought of You / If I Ruled the World (Ray Noble / Leslie Bricusse / Cyril Ornadel) feat. Kevin Spacey 4:10

5. I’ve Got the World on a String (Ted Koehler / Harold Arlen) feat. Diana Krall 3:31

6. New York State of Mind (Billy Joel) feat. Billy Joel 6:40

7. I Can’t Give You Anything but Love (Dorothy Fields / Jimmy McHugh) feat. Rufus Wainwright 6:20

8. A Kiss to Build a Dream On (Oscar Hammerstein II / Harry Ruby / Bert Kalmar) feat. k.d. lang 3:37

9. Visions (Stevie Wonder) feat. Stevei Wonder 4:22

10. La Vie en rose (Édith Piaf / Mack David / Louiguy) feat. Lady Gaga 3:53

11. Can You Feel the Love Tonight (Tim Rice / Elton John) feat. Elton John 4:01

12. Autumn Leaves (Johnny Mercer / Joseph Kosma) feat. Leslie Odom Jr.) 3:04

13. Who Cares? (Ira Gershwin / George Gershwin) 3:00

14. The Best Is Yet to Come (Carolyn Leigh / Cy Coleman) 2:43

15. I Left My Heart in San Francisco (Douglas Cross / George C. Cory Jr.) 2:20

16. I Got Rhythm (I. Gershwin / G. Gershwin) 2:24

17. How Do You Keep the Music Playing? (Alan Bergman / Michel Legrand) 4:27

18. Happy Birthday (Stevie Wonder) feat. Stevie Wonder 3:13


Alto Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet (1-4, 7-10, 14, 15, 17, 18): Lawrence Feldman, Lou Marini 

Baritone Saxophone, Clarinet (1-4, 7-10, 14, 15, 17, 18): Roger Rosenberg

Bass Trombone (1-4, 7-10, 14, 15, 17, 18): George Flynn

Cello (1-4, 7-10, 14, 15, 17, 18): Ann Kim, Hannah Hoffman, Peter Sanders

French Horn: Daniel Culpepper, John Clark, Stewart Rose

Harp: Kirsten Agresta

Music Director, Conductor: Tom Scott

Percussion (1-4, 7-10, 14, 15, 17, 18): David Rozenblatt

Piano (1-4, 7-10, 14, 15, 17, 18): John Oddo

Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet (1-4, 7-10, 14, 15, 17, 18): Dave Schroeder

Tenor Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet, Oboe, English Horn (1-4, 7-10, 14, 15, 17, 18): Aaron Heick

Trombone (1-4, 7-10, 14, 15, 17, 18): John Fedchock, Keith O’Quinn, Tom Malone

Trumpet, Flugelhorn (1-4, 7-10, 14, 15, 17, 18): Frank Greene, Marvin Stamm, Mike Rodriguez, Tony Kadleck

Viola (1-4, 7-10, 14, 15, 17, 18): Chihiro Fukuda, Joana Miranda, Junah Chung

Violin (1-4, 7-10, 14, 15, 17, 18): Alexis Sykes, Andy Simionescu, Conway Kuo, Derek Ratzenboeck, Francoisca Mendoza, Gabrielle Fink, Lydia Hong, Michael Roth, Nicolas Danielson, Ragga Petutsdottir, Yeo Jin Cho

Violin, Concertmaster (1-4, 7-10, 14, 15, 17, 18): Kurt Nikkanen

Recorded at Madison Square Garden, New York, NY; Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY; The Colosseum, Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, NV

Produced by Dae Bennett

Executive Producer: Danny Bennett

Recorded by John Harris

Additional Engineering: Al Centrella, Brian Hurst, Derek Vintschger, Jay Morgan, Jimmy Goldsmith, Joel Singer, Josh Miller, Justin Milner, Ken Muller, Luis Espinal, Matt Kraus, Peter Gary, Ron Reaves, Sean McClintock, Stephen Lamphere, Tom Arrigoni

Mastered by Greg Calbi

Mixed by Tom Young

Photography by Annie Liebovitz, Don Hunstein, Herman Leonard, Kevin Mazur, Mark Seliger, Sony Music Archives, Vikas Nambiar

Creative Design: Michelle Holme

Art Direction: Josh Cheuse


Released in conjunction with an NBC-TV special, 2016’s effusively delivered concert album Tony Bennett Celebrates 90 finds vocalist Tony Bennett marking his 90th birthday with an all-star concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. A lavish event, the concert showcased Bennett performing a handful of his most famous songs, with the legendary singer joined by a bevy of musical guests including Andrea Bocelli, Michael Bublé, Lady Gaga, k.d. lang, Kevin Spacey, Stevie Wonder, and many others. Generally speaking, the album is front-loaded with the guest performances and largely consists of each artist doing a rendition of a popular standard Bennett performed and/or recorded at one point or another. Oddly, despite all the guest artists on hand and in light of Bennett’s own tradition of doing duet albums, the concert is noticeably bereft of such pairings save for a particularly poignant duet between Bennett and Billy Joel on Joel’s “New York State of Mind.” Instead, we get Bocelli doing “Ave Maria,” lang doing “A Kiss to Build a Dream On,” Bublé doing “The Good Life,” and more. We also get Elton John delivering a thematically fitting version of his own classic “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.” Particularly engaging are Lady Gaga’s exuberant renditions of “The Lady Is a Tramp” and “La Vie en Rose.” Given her history as a duet partner with Bennett (much like lang), Gaga displays her growing talent as a traditional pop vocalist and proves to be one of the highlights of the evening. Despite the high caliber of the guest performances, the real focus of the concert is saved for the latter half when Bennett himself takes the stage. Although well past the age that most of his contemporaries retired, Bennett remains a magnetic stage performer with a voice that’s as robust and nuanced as in his prime — and perhaps even more full of character. Every time Bennett sings, he delivers a veritable master class on how to sing a jazz standard, and this performance is no exception. Here, we get a handful of some of his best-known numbers, including “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” “The Best Is Yet to Come,” and more. Ultimately, Tony Bennett Celebrates 90 is a joyful birthday fete to Bennett and a heartfelt tribute to his illustrious career.

Matt Collar (AllMusic)