Now 78 years young and still crooning

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Tony Bennett – The Art Of Romance

Famously hailed by Sinatra as “the best in the business”, Bennett’s been so-square-he’s-hip for decades now, his sons managing his credibility cunningly. This is a no-gimmicks, old-school album, though, recorded live on stage in Englewood, New Jersey from the Bennett Studios next door. Impeccable orchestration, tinkling ivories, whispering brushes and a sax that’s both sleazy and classy. Gliding across it all is the man’s exquisite phrasing, and he’s written his first ever lyrics on “All For You”. These ballads, tidily ironic comments on dreams and loss, ache with piquancy when he throws away a line like, “When my life is done…”

CHRIS ROBERTS