Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Tony Bennett's Wonderful World Live in San Francisco|
Actor: k.d. lang
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Studio: Sony Music Release Date: 11/26/2002
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A few pet peeves, but a great DVD concert nonetheless
Chris Callahan | Asheville, NC United States | 02/15/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I love easy jazz. I love the great songs from years ago. I love tremendously talented musicians who don't see a need to play at 120 plus decibels to "make music". I love "professionals" like Tony Bennett and the late Frank Sinatra who knew how to adjust with age and sing within their diminished vocal range, allowing their voices to age like fine wine in oaken kegs...So here you have Tony Bennett, now about 76, singing to a packed ballroom at the Fairmont Hotel (I've visited this hotel) on Nob Hill in downtown San Francisco. Backing him is the great Clayton Cameron on drums and Lee Musiker on the 9 foot Yamaha grand piano. Paul Langosch does a great job on bass, and Gray Sargent an adequate job on guitar. (I say adequate, because if you've seen Anthony Wilson play guitar with Diana Krall's band on "Live in Paris", Gray's comping chords and solo runs begin to pale in comparison).My pet peeves? The sound mix is a bit thin at times, and occasionally Tony's voice drops out. My other pet peeve is his duets with K. D. Lang--she shows up barefoot dressed in pants and looking a bit sloppy--at the ritzy FAIRMONT BALLROOM??? The Bonus material is also weak, consisting mainly of still shots of Tony's paintings.But the biggest selling point of this DVD is a live concert on DVD, so that you can enjoy great sound on your home theatre system.And a good time was had by all. There is "nothing" objectionable in the way of language, so even your grandkids can watch this show. Tony sings mostly favorites from the 60's in traditional orchestral mixes. Only on two or three occasions do the fireworks fly between drummer Clayton, guitarist Gray, bassist Paul and pianist Lee Musicker. This isn't meant as criticism--it's just that the concert mostly stays in the "mellow" range. Cause Lee, Paul, Gray and certainly Clayton Cameron can light some fire given some free reign to do so.My favorites are his multi song duet tribute with KD Lang to Louis Armstrong, including "La Vie En Rose, and "What a a Wonderful World", plus songs like "I Left My Heart in San Francisco", "How Do You Keep the Music Playing", "When Joanna Loved Me", "I Got Rhythm", "The Best is Yet to Come", and "It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing".I bought this DVD on three criteria: (1) figuring a recently released/recorded DVD might guarantee latest quality DVD sound and video, and (2) the avid recommendations of Amazonians. I can say I was certainly not disappointed with this DVD, but it didn't exceed my expectations either. To have been five stars, it should have had a couple more bonus items, a bit better sound mix, allowing the musicians a couple more goes at letting their energy/talent fly, and getting KD to dress up (and shoe up) at least on the level of Tony's elegantly tailored suit."
Tony IS the last GREAT singer!!
Stephan Mayer | sacramento, ca United States | 12/26/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You're in for a treat - I was in awe while watching this with my Dad. You're so close that you swear you're there in person. The audience is filled and there are many younger people there. Tony is superb voice. His voice has aged (gee, he's 76 now and looks great); a bit rougher on edges and coarser on some of notes. But he knows how to use it and hits every note dead on - he can still holds notes that singers half his age would die for. His phrasing full of dramatics; his enounciation flawless. The musicians (altough Ralph Sharon is not present but being replaced by Lee Musiker who is excellent) are superb and the 30 pc. orchestra adds depth and coloring that you simply cannot get from only 4 musicians. Tony strikes a good balance between classics and more modern tunes (e.g. NY state of mind) as well as alternating between using all the musicians at times and then only his own quartett during other songs. On FLY ME TO THE MOON he was only backed by the guitar - nice! Overall, Tony sticks with classics from the 1960s which was probably his greatest period. A word about KD Lang - I can't stand the way she looks but she does a fine job blending and harmonizing with Tony. Her voice is quite nice and more pleasant to listen to that the smoked-up tone of Diana Krall. On Joanna, I left my heart in S.F. and SMILE (among others), the original arrangements from the recordings are used. He even uses the 1951 Percy Faith chart for BECAUSE OF YOU but the 2002 reading has more depth to it as is to be expected. I only have one complaint - the sound mix. The orchestra is too soft at times and could use some reverb. While they sound very nice, they are a far cry from the studio musicians on the lush recording sessions at Columbia in 1960s. Probably most of the sound engineers who worked on this DVD weren't even born then and probably didn't know of Tony Bennett until the MTV special 9 yrs ago..... GET THIS DVD!! Tony is the last great singer around and this is one of his best concerts ever!! And of course, see him LIVE!"
Michael G. Hogge | 12/28/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD is simply phenomenal...what more need be said?! Tony Bennett continues to be simply a wonderful gift to mankind. Tony says it best when he mentions that many people the world over have said to him that their greatest dream is to be in San Francisco, on Nob Hill, listening to him sing, "I Left My Heart In San Francisco". This performance, on the 40th anniversary of his signature song's public release, is the next best thing to being there. The San Francisco Fairmont venue, orchestra, Tony's long-standing hits, and the bonus features which include an interactive gallery of Tony's paintings and an interview session with Tony and k.d. Lang make for one of the best concerts along with Diana Krall's "Live In Paris" in my collection....hopefully yours, too!"
Can't equal the real thing, but comes close...
L. Ambridge | Boston, MA | 08/03/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For those fans, like myself, who have seen Tony Bennett in concert and marvel at his stage presence and grace, the filming of this concert in San Francisco may be a trifle disappointing. Not because of Tony - he was wonderful as usual - but rather because of the camerawork. Tony Bennett is one of the greatest living entertainers because of his presence on stage and his interaction with his audience and his band. However, this seemed to be lost on the director, who filmed entirely too many tight headshots of Tony. To see him in concert is to know that to really appreciate his performance, you must see him head to foot, moving across the stage and interacting with his quartet. Unfortunately, this dynamism is partly lost due to the filming technique.
On to the music: Tony is in fine voice, and by the time he reaches the tenth track (The Good Life), he's loose and in top form. His trio of songs with k.d. lang are sublime - she's relaxed, playful, and when they sing "Exactly Like You", the song takes on new meaning - these two were obviously made exactly for each other...as singing partners, that is.
His performance of "New York State of Mind" is particularly interesting because, without Billy Joel present for the duet, the song comes fully under Tony's interpretation and he gives it an endearingly carefree, jazzy phrasing that is much different than the rather melancholic original.
For "Fly Me to the Moon", he surprisingly doesn't do his usual routine of turning off the microphones, but the song is beautiful nonetheless.
Tony is backed by the Sprezzatura Quartet, and also by an orchestra on certain songs. The orchestral arrangements are never overbearing, but for those of us who prefer the intimacy of just a quartet, the orchestra can be something of a drawback.
Overall, it's a fantastic concert and Mr. Bennett clearly shows that he only gets finer with age.