Personnel: Tony Bennett (vocals); Diana Krall, Dixie Chicks, Elton John, George Michael, James Taylor , John Legend, Juanes, k.d. lang, Michael Bublé, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Sting, Tim McGraw, Elvis Costello, Barbra Streisand, Billy Joel, Bono , Celine Dion (vocals); Gary Sargent (guitar); Pinchas Zukerman (fiddle); Lawrence Feldman (flute); Chris Botti (trumpet); Bill Charlap, Lee Musiker (piano); Harold Jones (drums).
Audio Mixer: Dae Bennett.
Recording information: Bennett Studios, Englewood, NJ; Capitol Sutdios, Hollywood, CA; EMI Abbey Road Studios, London, England; Grandma's Hosue, Malibu, CA; The Studio at The Palms, Las Vegas, NV.
Photographers: Gia Prima; Mark Seliger; Reuben Cox; James Minchin.
Arranger: Jorge Calandrelli.
Rolling Stone (pp.72-74) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "That Bennett, now eighty, sings magnificently is little surprise. What is surprising is the way he and his crack quartet inspire the rhythmic and tonal best from the [guests]...."
For months I've been telling friends that "track eleven on Tony's latest album - his duet with Stevie Wonder -- is the `pick of the litter.'" And while popular music's elder statesman -- now in his 81st year - would never have admitted it on stage last night, I believe that he and Stevie, in their heart-of-hearts would agree with the folks at the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences -- that this was the Grammy winner, among the 23 terrific duets on this album. [I have the `Target' version with its four bonus tracks including "live" duets with Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Michael Buble and Diana Krall.]
As the definitive version of this song draws to a lovely close - after Stevie delivers a joyful (27 second) harmonica solo (surely one of the most beautiful in the history of popular music) -- you can actually `hear' the smiles of these two musical giants - in their spontaneous words of praise.
Tony defers to Stevie for the musical `last word' - an amazing display of chromatic dexterity that is simply breathtaking - as Stevie impersonates EXACTLY how he'd play those same notes on the harmonica.
Then, as the final notes of the lush, orchestral arrangement (by Jorge Calendrelli) begin to fade, Tony speaks for us all -- even (prophetically) for the wise men and women at NARAS who had the good sense last night to award Tony and Stevie the Grammy for this one.
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