|Photo Credit: Kelsey Bennett; Tony Bennett and Bill Charlap Nominated for Grammy(R) Award in BEST TRADITIONAL POP VOCAL ALBUM for "THE SILVER LINING: The Songs of Jerome Kern"|
18-Time Grammy Winner, Tony Bennett and jazz pianist Bill Charlap, were nominated for a Grammy in the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album category for their jazz piano album, The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern. Released in September 2015, the album debuted at #1 on Billboard's Traditional Jazz Album charts and has received widespread critical acclaim. It was the first recording Bennett released after the overwhelming success of his collaborative effort with Lady Gaga, "CHEEK TO CHEEK." Bennett was also inducted into DOWNBEAT magazine's Hall of Fame and was named their top Male Vocalist of 2015. Tony Bennett will celebrate his 90th Birthday next year on August 3rd.
Tony Bennett is the only artist to successfully bridge the worlds of pop music and jazz on an international scale for over 60 years. The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern becomes part of a timeless legacy of recordings that Bennett has done throughout his career that have embraced both genres, in particular the revered piano jazz albums that he recorded with the late Bill Evans in 1975 and 1977. Tony has become synonymous with the pop/jazz connection and in recent years has been a mentor to contemporary artists such as Lady Gaga and the late Amy Winehouse in encouraging them to embrace jazz music. With his 90th birthday less than a year away, The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern defines what makes Tony Bennett unique in the pantheon of great singers and is a testament to the legacy that he continues to create as a recording artist and influence in the music industry.
Over the course of his career, Kern composed more than 700 songs, creating musical elements used in more than 100 stage works, collaborating with the greatest lyricists and librettists of the era including P.G. Wodehouse, Oscar Hammerstein II, Dorothy Fields, Johnny Mercer, Ira Gershwin, E.Y. Harburg and many others on a seemingly limitless repertoire of classic songs including "Ol' Man River," "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man," "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," "The Way You Look Tonight," "Long Ago and Far Away" and many more.
New York native Jerome Kern was a major force on Broadway and in Hollywood musicals in a career that spanned more than four decades. He expanded on earlier musical theater traditions, from vaudeville to operetta, to embrace new dance rhythms, syncopation and jazz progressions and helped invent the modern musical template. While many of his Broadway musicals and Hollywood musical films were contemporary smash hits, Kern is perhaps best remembered today through revivals of "Show Boat," one of his signature achievements.
In his liner notes for The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern, music historian Will Friedwald describes Kern as "...the key link between the great music of historical and contemporary classics, a direct connection between Brahms and Charlie Parker....a key architect of a uniquely American art form that would eventually take shape as musical theater....one of the founding fathers of a term that Tony Bennett later coined himself, 'the Great American Songbook.'"
"The idea of a Kern Songbook project was Tony's," writes Will Friedwald, "thereby placing Kern on the very short list of canonical composers (Rodgers & Hart, Harold Arlen, Duke Ellington, Irving Berlin, and Cy Coleman) who have been the beneficiaries of an entire album by Bennett. It was also Bennett's idea to create the album in collaboration with the remarkable Bill Charlap....who can also take a great song we all know by heart and make us feel like we've never heard it before."
With more than 700 Jerome Kern compositions to choose from, the set list for The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern is a distillation of essential highlights from a boundless catalog. With these interpretations of some of Jerome Kern's finest songs, Tony Bennett and Bill Charlap offer a definitive introduction to Kern's music while providing a deep understanding of the abiding and universal qualities of these songs.
Playing alongside Tony Bennett and Bill Charlap on The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern are pianist Renee Rosnes (on the piano duet pieces), Peter Washington (bass) and Kenny Washington (drums). Unrelated, though sharing the same last name, Peter and Kenny have been performing with Bill Charlap for nearly two decades and pianist Renee Rosnes has been Charlap's life partner for close to 10 years.