The article mentions Leonard Cohen.
http://www.timescolonist.com/entertainm ... story.html
By Adrian Chamberlain, Times Colonist
October 7, 2009
Impressive -- Tony Bennett at 83 still sings with power
Tony Bennett: Status transcends the whims of fashion.
Photograph by: Bruce Stotesbury, Times Colonist
What: Tony Bennett
Where: Royal Theatre
When: Last night
Leonard Cohen's not the only senior citizen still drawing enthused audiences. Enter Tony Bennett, now 83 years old.
Just the fact that Bennett --one of America's best vocalists -- is still touring is awfully impressive. Happily, the man who hit it huge in 1962 with his signature song, I Left My Heart in San Francisco, continues to perform well, as last night's concert at the Royal Theatre proved.
Backed by a crack quartet, Bennett sang a 90-minute show replete with American songbook favourites. Amazing for a man in his ninth decade, he performed with considerable power, routinely ending splashy tunes such as Boulevard of Broken dreams (a song he recorded back in 1950) with climaxes almost operatic in their melodrama.
Jazz musicians have long admired Bennett because of his hip, effortless way of phrasing. Frank Sinatra dubbed him "the best singer in the business." Like Johnny Cash in his latter years, Bennett has deservedly achieved an iconic pop culture status that transcends the whims of fashion.
When any performer reaches the winter of their career, the question is always: Can they still pull it off? Comparing Bennett's concerts today to his recordings of the 1950s or 1960s is not exactly fair. Time is bound to change the timbre of anyone's voice.
In Victoria, some may have noticed a reediness in the singer's middle register; perhaps a loss of suppleness at times. Yet Bennett's retained most of what makes him a terrific vocalist. At best, his voice boasts a manly huskiness -- especially potent when he's attacking a crescendo, as it imbues a song with emotional heft.
This was, for instance, apparent in Bennett's rendition Of Maybe This Time, a ballad about an unlucky man yearning for a constant love. Riding on his band's triple forte, the singer went for an open-voiced big ending, earning cheers from the crowd.
Bennett seemed ever the consummate professional, looking dapper in a dark suit with a red pocket square. Despite decades of concerts and more than a dozen Grammys, he still approaches music with genuine enthusiasm. His approach is highly musical; he's more about doing justice to the song than riding on showbiz laurels, as many in his shoes would. One can see Bennett aims for -- and often achieves -- the sort of easy, syncopated phrasing associated with jazz soloists.
The audience was happy to chuckle forgivingly when Bennett lost one of the opening lines to I Left My Heart in San Francisco. Such stumbles were rare -- unlike the late career Sinatra, he doesn't use a teleprompter to remember lyrics. Again, Bennett displayed his artistry by singing this ballad, performed so many times, with the bona fide enthusiasm that makes any song fresh.
Gershwin's 1931 tune Who Cares? -- with lyrics such as "Let it rain and thunder/Let a million firms go under" -- was fittingly introduced as still topical for today's uncertain economic times. The night included interpretations of Steppin' Out With My Baby, I Got Rhythm, The Best is Yet to Come, In a Mellow Tone, The Good life and It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing).
Some songs were represented just a couple of verses and a chorus. That was fine -- it merely seemed like Bennett wanted to cover considerable ground in a limited time.
The evening's most remarkable moments came near the end, when Bennett sang Fly Me to the Moon. Backed only by his guitarist, the singer sang it off-microphone. The effect was intimate, poignant and truly unforgettable.
© Copyright (c) The Victoria Times Colonist
At age 61 -
How Can You Make the Music Last?
In 2006 - singing Hank Williams' "Cold, Cold Heart"
And in 2009 at age 83 - singing Jerome Kern - "The Way You Look Tonight" - with his pianist Bill Charlap - on the Sundance Series "Spectacle."*
"I've Got the World On A String with the amazing Diana Krall"
http://www.usatoday.com/life/music/news ... ting_N.htm
*Elvis Costello's 2009 "Spectacle" series on Sundance - excellent guests and well worth watching
Editing - I just had to come back in here and fix all my typos. I found 5.