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Tony Bennett
Live at the Sahara: Las Vegas, 1964

RPM/Columbia/Legacy

Step back in time to Rat Pack-era Las Vegas. Take a seat in the legendary Conga Room and enjoy a timeless Tony Bennett performance that’s chronicled on Live at the Sahara: Las Vegas, 1964.

It’s so old school that in the middle of the set the stage is briefly taken over by Hollywood royalty — Milton Berle, Danny Thomas and Mickey Rooney. While that makes for a historically kitschy Sin City moment, the crowd is understandably there for the vocal artistry of Bennett. Accompanied by the Ralph Sharon Trio and an orchestra, Bennett doesn’t just sing a series of verses and choruses. Instead, his voice effortlessly swings through a series of notes like a great a jazz instrumentalist playing a song’s melody with just a touch of personal flash on “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” One for My Baby (and One More for the Road),” “Lullaby of Broadway, “Chicago (That Toddlin’ Town) and, of course, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” It’s in this realm that you understand why Frank Sinatra said in 1965 that “…for my money Tony Bennett is the best singer in the business. He gets across what the composer had in mind, and probably a little more.”

Shelved for decades, this Vegas show finally came out as part of Bennett’s 2011 box set The Complete Collection. Now, as a stand-alone release, you don’t have to spend $400 to immerse yourself in this bygone atmosphere. So, there’s little excuse not to pick up and appreciate this legendary piece of history.

Comments

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Henry Hudson January 26, 2014, 14:17:37

Put this disc on and will it surely get your date “In The Mood”. Or end it like a thud.

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