American icon Tony Bennett is celebrating his 85th birthday this year with a new album, "Tony Bennett: Duets II" which will be released on September 20th on RPM/Columbia Records. Bennett began the live recording process with several artists during Grammy week in February at LA's famed Capital Studios. "Duets II" produced by Phil Ramone follows up "Tony Bennett Duets: An American Classic" CD, the 2006 Grammy winning best selling CD which became Bennett's best selling recording to date.
Alone Tony Bennett is legendary. In partnership with another singer, he's extraordinary. A sterling all-star roster will join Tony in the studio including Lady Gaga, Amy Winehouse, Mariah Carey, John Mayer, Natalie Cole, Sheryl Crow, Norah Jones, Josh Groban, Queen Latifah, and Aretha Franklin. Some of country's biggest names will also join the round-up including Faith Hill, Willie Nelson and Carrie Underwood. From the international pantheon: angel-voiced tenor Andrea Bocelli from Italy and Latino singer-songwriter Alejandro Sanz from Spain.. Michael Bublé and k.d. lang who were both featured on the original album returned for "Duets II". All duets were recorded live in the studio with Bennett. (Scroll down to view the complete tracklisting)
"I love the Great American songbook and have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to introduce many of these songs to the public...It is a thrill to perform them once again with artists that I admire to create new interpretations of the music I love so much," says Bennett.
The US and international recording sessions for "Duets II" were filmed by Academy award winning cinematographer Dion Beebe ("Chicago," "Memoirs Of A Geisha", "Collateral") and are being unveiled in conjunction with the new album, providing an in depth study of Bennett's creative and artistic process.
One of the album's most notable tracks is "Body and Soul", a duet between Tony and the late Amy Winehouse recorded at the iconic Abbey Road Studios in London. The song is one of her last works, and is slated for release as a single on September 14th via iTunes. All proceeds from the sale of the song will go to The Amy Winehouse Foundation, an organization set up by the singer's family to provide support for young people suffering from substance abuse.
Also Bennett is scheduled to make his debut appearance at the Metropolitan Opera House on September 18. The concert will feature pop standards from the Great American Songbook, many of which Bennett has introduced and recorded to critical and popular acclaim that led to a string of greatest hits over his 60-year career. "I've been practicing my whole life to perform on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House," Bennett said. "It's a dream come true."
OFFICIAL TRACKLISTING 1. The Lady Is A Tramp with Lady Gaga 2. One For My Baby (And One More For The Road) with John Mayer 3. Body And Soul with Amy Winehouse 4. Don't Get Around Much Anymore with Michael Bublé 5. Blue Velvet with k.d. lang 6. How Do You Keep The Music Playing with Aretha Franklin 7. The Girl I Love with Sheryl Crow 8. On The Sunny Side of the Street with Willie Nelson 9. Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me) with Queen Latifah 10. Speak Low with Norah Jones 11. This Is All I Ask with Josh Groban 12. Watch What Happens with Natalie Cole 13. Stranger In Paradise with Andrea Bocelli 14. The Way You Look Tonight with Faith Hill 15. Yesterday I Heard The Rain with Alejandro Sanz 16. It Had To Be You with Carrie Underwood 17. When Do The Bells Ring For Me with Mariah Carey