I Wanna Be Around (Expanded Edition)

I Wanna Be Around (Expanded Edition)

Tony Bennett’s 1963 set I Wanna Be Around continued the winning streak that had started with I Left My Heart in San Francisco a year earlier. Like its predecessor, the album makes the most of the singer’s interpretive gifts, with top-drawer tunes and creative arrangements that blend pop and jazz. Bennett’s confidence as a vocalist is in evidence as he combines near-operatic flights with a seductive warmth and intimacy. The title track and “The Good Life” sum up the album’s appeal with their yearning lyrics and softly swinging performances. Other highpoints include the sly, vibraphone-tinted “I’ve Got Your Number,” the sweet and tender “If I Love Again,” and the conversational, delicately rendered “It Was Me.” Of special note is Tony’s distinctive take on Antonio Carlos Jobim’s bossa nova standard “Quiet Nights (Corcovado).” (The CD reissue added seven tracks from Bennett’s This Is All I Ask album, including elegantly smoldering versions of “Autumn in Rome” and “Long About Now,” plus a jazzy “Tricks” featuring Chico Hamilton on drums.)

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