Tony Bennett - The Beat Of My Heart
1: Let's begin Let's begin 2: Lullaby of Broadway Lullaby of Broadway 3: Let there be love Let there be love 4: Love for sale Love for sale 5: Army air corps song Army air corps song 6: Crazy rhythm Crazy rhythm 7: The beat of my heart The beat of my heart 8: So beats my heart for you So beats my heart for you k 9: Blues in the night Blues in the night 10: Lazy afternoon Lazy afternoon 11: Let's face the music and dance Let's face the music and dance 12: Just one of those things Just one of those things 13: It's so peaceful in the country It's so peaceful in the country 14: In Sandy's eyes In Sandy's eyes 15: I get a kick out of you I get a kick out of you 16: You go to my head You go to my head 17: I only have eyes for you I only have eyes for you 1818: Begin the Beguine Begin the Beguine
Sinatra called Tony Bennett the best popular singer of the (20th) century. Listening to this early (1957) album, it is not hard to see why. While I have always thought the robust Bennett voice of the 1960s delivered a more rounded mix of sensitivity and power, 'The Beat of My Heart' is a tour de force. It is largely a showcase for rhythmic numbers, highlighted by prominent drummers such as Basie's Jo Jones and Art Blakey (Thelonious Monk and others). The spare, percussion-laden arrangements don't give a voice anywhere to hide, and Bennett's smooth, sometimes athletic vocals ('Beat of My Heart' -- amazing) shine. 'Lullaby of Broadway' and 'Let's Face the Music and Dance' are memorable uptempo numbers. 'Love for Sale', 'Crazy Rhythm' and 'Just One of Those Things' are also notable, showing up in later Bennett concerts and compilations. While there may be other sets with more hits, 'The Beat of My Heart' has a stronger jazz element and a generous selection of songs from the golden era of American popular music. If Bennett sounds a bit young here, it is more than balanced by the quality and taste of the songs and arrangements. Whenever you listen, you get the sense that Tony Bennett simply loves the music. That artistry and respect for the canvas permeates his catalogue, and the early 'Beat of My Heart' is no exception. Recommended, perhaps not as the first TB album to buy -- 'I Wanna Be Around' and the Carnegie Hall concert get my votes -- but as essential Bennett. Which is saying a lot.