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81 of 86 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A terrifically enjoyable album
This collection of "Duets II" to celebrate Bennett's 85th birthday is so far better than the original "Duets" album of five years ago that it is difficult to believe that five years have actually passed and that this album isn't actually taken from undiscovered recordings of Bennett during his comeback years of the late eighties and nineties. It isn't, of course, having...
Published on 19 Sep 2011 by Bismaquer

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
This collection was not Tony's usual standard. I think that it was because of duets whereas I usually buy his solo collections.
Published 6 months ago by Mrs. M. Green


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81 of 86 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A terrifically enjoyable album, 19 Sep 2011
By 
This review is from: Duets II (Audio CD)
This collection of "Duets II" to celebrate Bennett's 85th birthday is so far better than the original "Duets" album of five years ago that it is difficult to believe that five years have actually passed and that this album isn't actually taken from undiscovered recordings of Bennett during his comeback years of the late eighties and nineties. It isn't, of course, having been recorded earlier this year. I suspect the reasons this album works so well are two. First, the selection of singers to team up with Bennett seems to have been done less with star power in mind and more with careful consideration of the kinds of singers who work well with his voice. Second, the songs themselves are no longer (for the most part) the "greatest hits" seen to poor effect on "Duets". Rather they are songs carefully chosen to show off Bennett's ageing, but still emotive and powerful, voice. It can be no coincidence that many of these songs are the staples that make up his present day concerts. There is no question that Bennett has sounded better in his career - it would be ridiculous if an 85 year old man sounded as good as he did at 45. The amazing thing is that he still sounds great. Not just great for 85, but great.

Some particular highlights on this album include:

- The Lady Is A Tramp (Bennett and Lady Gaga both swing masterfully, and it's on this track that Bennett sounds youngest and most carefree)
- Don't Get Around Much Anymore (Bennett and Michael Bublé clearly appreciate each other's style, and push each other along - again Bennett sounds vibrant and fresh)
- Blue Velvet (an inspired idea to bring back k.d. lang for her fifth appearance on one of Bennett's albums, as her voice blends perfectly with Bennett's)
- Who Can I Turn To (sung with Queen Latifah, it is amazing that Bennett still has the power to sing this in the same style if not quite in the same key as he first sang it in 1964)

There are also a few surprises - not being a big fan of "popera", it was surprising to me that the duets on This Is All I Ask (with Josh Groban) and Stranger In Paradise (with Andrea Bocelli) work so well. Both singers seem to have toned it down just enough to meld harmoniously with Bennett's rougher tones. Not as much as Mariah Carey has toned it down though, in what is a duet of taste and style on When Do The Bells Ring For Me.

The album isn't perfect. How Do You Keep The Music Playing is an embarassment, as Aretha Franklin fights Bennett all the way with an infuriating caterwaul that completely wipes him out at the climax of the song. Nor is Body And Soul with Amy Winehouse the posthumous towering classic that everyone seems determined to make it, although it is a perfectly pleasant rendering, and it is poignant to hear Winehouse apparently back on the way to health and performance.

All in all, an enjoyable album that has moments of real and lasting beauty, and for the rest of the time provides a glimpse of one of the best remaining interpreters of popular song, who is, although not quite at the top of his game, certainly still playing the game very well indeed.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simply divine!, 7 Nov 2012
By 
Patricia Lowe - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Duets II +DVD (Audio CD)
The CD and DVD are both so exhilarating! The idea of Tony Bennett singing together with musicians of all different standards and genre is just fantastic, it all blends so well. The DVD is quite touching! To see him together with persons like Sheryl Crow, Andrea Boccelli and the late Amy Winehouse, is quite emotional. And who would have thought that Lady Gaga would be involved in such a project. Summary: FANTASTIC!!!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars mum and dad now dance around the kithen to this, 9 Jan 2012
This review is from: Duets II (Audio CD)
Bought for christmas, this album made mum and dad sing and dance to all the sounds of there youth. It has certanly made them feel 20 yrs younger best buy !!!!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So relaxing!, 1 Nov 2011
This review is from: Duets II (Audio CD)
CD arrived this morning and I am so pleased with it. The TV is off and I am just relaxing to the beautiful tracks. I real mix of duets. I was very suprised to hear Lady Gaga sing so well - who would have thought it?! All of the tracks are superb, a real class act all in all. They just don't make em like Tony Bennett any more and despite his advanced years, his voice is as good as ever.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Made me think, 4 April 2014
By 
Bob Harvey (Lincolnshire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Duets II (Audio CD)
I heard this album discussed by Simon Mayo on the Bbc interviewing Tony Benett, and bought it then. I had never thought much of Amy Winehouse but the track and hearing Tony Benett talk about her changed my mind. Similarly, the Ms Gaga - I had never considered that she might be able to sing properly.

This album is not only great listening, it is thought provoking in the way it made me more tolerant of modern performers I had dismissed as irrelevant tome.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good heavywieght Vinyl, 24 Mar 2014
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This is produced on top quality heavywieght Vinyl. The content of the recording has some ups and downs. Overall its worth the money. Highpoints for me were Queen Latifa, Lady gaga, KD Laing, for the girls, and Michael Buble, Alejandro Sanz, and John Mayer for the boys. Surprisingly Aretha Franklin, and Amy Winehouse disapointed.
The music is well produced but don't expect "big band" sound its been done with a much smaller "tighter" band and has a very intimate feel. Deserving of 5 Stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great !!!!, 6 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Duets II (Audio CD)
If you have the duets 1 album ,then you must add this one to your collection.It's equally as good as the first album,a real classic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tony Bennerr Duets 11 + DVD, 5 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Duets II +DVD (Audio CD)
Have seen the DVD so i bought this as a gift for my dad and he was happy with it
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Wonderful", 7 Oct 2011
This review is from: Duets II (MP3 Download)
Wonderful product and it is so great to hear an artist like Lady Gaga showing her full talent, singing with a Big Band, as anyone who has studied music will know, this is the hardest music to play, you have to be a perfect sight reader and to be able to improvise as well. This is an Album that features a bunch of the best musicians in the world and if you have any sort of musical ear, even if you are not sure about some of the singing performances, then focus on the musicians. This is an Album where the big band would have recorded a live studio performance and it sounds like a living Album, compared to rather dull recordings of countless Midi tracks, so often now recorded in a bedroom to a click track. The Amy Winehouse song was the performance of her life, singing with her idol, she was apparently very nervous and he had to put her at ease, how very sad, in spite of her starting off singing with a big band (NYJO) she did not record more big band tracks, she shows such class and I am sure will bring a tear to many peoples eyes. If you like this material I also recommend this fantastic product, good value and is a great introduction to top quality Jazz recordings. Jazz On A Summers Day - HD Remastered 2010
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 26 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Duets II (Audio CD)
Great
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Duets II
Duets II by Tony Bennett (Audio CD - 2011)
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