The Movie Song Album
Fine material in the hands of a world-class singer is the secret of The Movie Song Album’s artistic success. Tony Bennett turns to Hollywood soundtracks for this 1966 release, favoring the richly romantic ballads that had become his specialty. His performances are enhanced by Johnny Mandel’s sympathetic musical direction, as well as by arrangement contributions by the likes of Quincy Jones, David Rose, and Neal Hefti. Bennett infuses the songs with his customary finesse and brio, exploring the subtleties of such standards as “The Shadow of Your Smile,” “Days of Wine and Roses,” and “The Second Time Around.” His touch on a playful tune like “Girl Talk” is light but never offhand; his take on wistful numbers like “The Gentle Rain” and “The Pawnbroker” is quietly devastating. A buoyant rendition of “The Trolley Song” catches Bennett at his jazzily carefree best. Of special note is “Maybe September,” taken from The Oscar (a 1966 film featuring Bennett in a dramatic role). Bennett does it all with an effortless mastery that's both passionate and self-aware as he lets these classic tunes shine beyond the silver screen.