Tony Bennett (vcl), Nat Adderley (tp), Dave schildkraut (as), Al Cohn (ts), Bobby Jaspar, Herbie Mann (fl), Kai Winding (tb), Ralph Sharon (p, arr), John Pisano (g), Chuck Wayne (g), Milt Hinton (b), Chico Hamilton, Art Blakey, Jo Jones (d), Candido Camero (perc)
Bar code: 8436019580394
This release contains the complete original albums "Cloud 7" (his first LP ever) and "The Beat of My Heart". The latter LP appears here in its entirety for the first time ever on CD. These were Bennetts first collaborations with renowned jazz artists, playing mostly in small groups and including a whos who of jazz drummers.
Although he is now recognized as one of the best jazz vocalists ever, Tony Bennett was just a young and barely known singer when the first of the two albums compiled here. However, three years later, when the second of these albums appeared, he was already a star who could allow himself to fight against conventional accompaniment and experiment with previously unheard instrumental combinations.
As a bonus, four rare tunes originally issued on singles in the 1950s - three arranged and conducted by Percy Faith and one by Neal Hefti. Includes 16-page booklet.
"Released in 1955, when Tony Bennett was only 30 years old, Cloud 7 was the record he fought and earned the right to make. He'd already had a string of hits for the label and was regarded as a major talent. (In 1951 alone he charted seven times.) Bennett was looking to the then new long-playing 33-rpm format LP to bring a record to the public that showcased his voice in a more intimate, mood-setting environment. The cover says it all: it features a slightly out of focus black-and-white photograph of a woman, eyes closed, head thrown back, snapping her fingers with the words "Cloud 7" cursively written in hot pink to frame her face. Produced by Mitch Miller, Bennett surrounded himself with a smallish jazz group and recorded ten standards. The mood is nocturnal, elegant, amorous, hip. The opener is "I Fall in Love Too Easily." Arranged by Chuck Wayne, it was originally used in the soundtrack to the MGM film Anchors Aweigh. A spare, ghostly guitar ushers in Bennett's hum of the intro before the band enters slowly and when that slippery, smoky tenor enters in full, the entire night opens into oblivion. When he ups it a bit for the swinging "My Baby Just Cares for Me," with its muted yet finger-popping guitar swing, the seduction is complete. There is genuine emotion in Bennett's voice as he sings "My Heart Tells Me (Should I Believe My Heart?)," the sultry "Old Devil Moon," "I Can't Believe That You're in Love With Me," and the incredible closer, "Darn That Dream." His delivery throughout is unhurried, focused, purposeful. The music found here is more akin to that of Sinatra's In the Wee Small Hours than it is to lounge mood music -- though that may have been the desired intent of the marketing department at Columbia at the time. Cloud 7 is the album on which Bennett himself realized the full potential of his gift; the album elevated him from being a great pop singer to a bona fide artist. This disc -- part of The Tony Bennett Master Series on Legacy -- may be short, but it is devastatingly beautiful and loses none of its effect nearly 50 years after its original issue."
Thom Jurek -All Music Guide
-The Beat Of My Heart
"On only his third full-length, 12" LP, Tony Bennett comes up with a concept album, singing against novel percussion arrangements, backed by drummers like Art Blakey, Jo Jones, Chico Hamilton, Billy Exiner, Candido, and Sabu. Several songs feature only drums and flutes. Over this unusual instrumentation, Bennett sings beautifully, giving his usual full-voiced emotion to songs like "Lullaby of Broadway," "Let's Face the Music and Dance," and "Just One of Those Things." This was the first album to give notice that Bennett was more than just another near-operatic, melodramatic pop singer of the early '50s. Here was a man who had jazz chops, musical imagination, and a sense of swing. He was practically a hipster!"
William Ruhlmann -All Music Guide