Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tony Bennett - New York, NY - 2008-12-16

Tony Bennett, with the Count Basie Orchestra at the Apollo Theatre, New York, NY on December 16, 2008.

A night of firsts: never saw Mr. Bennett, never been to the Apollo, never ate at Sylvia's....All cool things to check off the list...

The show started a few minutes past eight with a 30 - 40 minute set by the Count Basie Orchestra. The Orchestra is now led by long-time band member Bill Hughes, who noted that he joined the band in 1956...they warmed up the room with a strong set of swing and with no real break to speak of (save for a couple of musicians entering and exiting their positions) Tony Bennett was introduced. I did not keep notes but he covered quite a bit of ground. For Once in My Life, The Best is Yet to Come, My Favorite Things, and of course....I Left My Heart in San Francisco. All told, about 60 - 70 minutes of Tony. The only tune missing for me was his take on Winter Wonderland, which appears on both of his Christmas records - this year's release with the Basie Orchestra and his last one, from 1968!

Cool side note: on the way in we were all handed laminates with a code on back to download a track from the show after Dec 23...

There was a fun post-show reception at Sylvia's, the classic soul food spot on Lenox Ave. You know its a party when Charlie Rangel's in the house...

12/18 Update: Great piece in the NY Times on the show. Spot-on...

12/23 Update: Here is the free download referred to above...