Tony Bennett ‘Duets II’: Fall Preview

Robbie Daw | September 9, 2011 11:02 am

Iconic crooner Tony Bennett turned 85 early last month, but he’ll be gifting all of us soon with his forthcoming collection of 17 collaborations with fellow musicians, Duets II. All eyes turned toward Bennett following the all-too-soon death of Amy Winehouse in July, as their version of “Body And Soul” is said to be her last completed studio recording. The legendary New York singer talked to us about his affection for Winehouse, and what it was like to hit the studio with artists like Lady Gaga. Catch our Fall Preview of Duets II below! ALBUM: Duets II (Columbia), the sequel to Bennett’s 2006 LP Duets: An American Classic.

RELEASE DATE: September 20.

SINGLES RELEASED SO FAR: Tony and Michael Buble’s rendition of Duke Ellington’s “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.” Buble had initially recorded a version of the 1940s jazz standard for his 2001 LP BaBalu.

[wpaudio url=”//″ text=”Tony Bennett duet with Michael Buble – Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” dl=”0″]

ALBUM PRODUCER: Fourteen-time Grammy winner Phil Ramone.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE LP: More classic songs given a classy touch by Tony and his musical pals like Lady Gaga (“The Lady Is A Tramp”), Carrie Underwood (“It Had To Be You”), Mariah Carey (“When Do The Bells Ring For Me”), Faith Hill (“The Way You Look Tonight”), John Mayer (“One For My Baby”), Aretha Franklin (“How Do You Keep The Music Playing”), Natalia Cole (“Watch What Happens”) and, of course, the late Amy Winehouse (“Body And Soul).

“It’s similar, of course, to the first Duets, but there may be a bit more spontaneity in this record since its the second time that we are doing this type of project,” Bennett tells us. “I think they will love Lady Gaga, who really shows off what a great singer she is!”

On collaborating with Winehouse, who passed away in July at the age of 27, Tony says, “Recording with Amy was just so beautiful, and I knew after singing with her what a true artistic genius she was because she performed with total and complete honesty — that is a very rare quality.”

Bennett honored Winehouse following her death by joining Russell Brand and Bruno Mars for a tribute to the London singer at the MTV Video Music Awards last month.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR TONY: Even though Duets II isn’t out for another week-and-a-half, we couldn’t help wondering what the legendary crooner might have up his sleeve next. “I am always on a search for truth and beauty, so whatever I do next will further that journey,” Bennett says, with Zen-like charm.

OUR THOUGHTS: Duets II arrives just in time to usher in the fall season, and we can’t think of a more perfect soundtrack for snuggle-up season. We’re also predicting that Susan Boyle may have some competition this time around when it comes for shoppers to decide on that perfect, tuneful holiday stocking stuffer.

Duets II is available for pre-order on iTunes and Amazon. Now that school is back underway, time to study up on more albums arriving in the coming months with our Fall Music Preview picks of Lady Antebellum’s Own The Night, Demi Lovato’s Unbroken, Dev’s The Night The Sun Came Up, The Bangles’ Sweetheart Of The Sun and Cody Simpson’s Coast To Coast.