Stories like these are so far and few especially in the jazz realm.
It’s really refreshing to learn about the social & political consciousness of an artist like Tony Bennett.
In his long and distinguished career it is a side of the man that has rarely, to my knowledge, been touched upon.
It is a personal history worth knowing and celebrating.
Celebrating Tony Bennett’s 85th Birthday … and His Activism
An interview with Tony Bennett’s biographer David Evanier reveals the singing star as more than just a set of pipes.
Last week was Tony Bennett’s 85th birthday. He’s touring this month. And finishing up an album of duets with Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey, Norah Jones and others; he recorded “Body and Soul” with Amy Winehouse for the album shortly before her death last month. He continues to do with his music what G.K. Chesterton (I think) said one ought to do in a literary life, which is “not to be current but to make of oneself a current.”
One of the many gifts Bennett received for his birthday this year was All the Things You Are: The Life of Tony Bennett by David Evanier (Wiley, $27), which offers an eye-opening, nuanced and thorough understanding of the life of this superb singer. As Gary Giddins puts it, “The great thing about David Evanier’s biography . . .is that by looking closer at a great artist than the artist might have wished, it uncovers a man even more worthy of our admiration than we knew.”
After reading Evanier’s biography of Bennett, then pre-ordering Bennett’s Duets II album (on sale September 20), we asked Evanier (a novelist and editor who has also written biographies of Jimmy Roselli and Bobby Darin), a few questions about his most recent subject. Much has been made about Bennett’s musicality, about his career renaissance, and about the longevity of both his musicality and his career, and those subjects are well worth examining and enjoying, but today we wanted to celebrate Tony Bennett as a patriot.