RPM/Columbia Records is proud to announce the release of The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern, a new album from American musical legend Tony Bennett and acclaimed jazz pianist Bill Charlap, arriving Friday, September 25, 2015. The album is available for pre-order beginning today Here:
Following the enormous success of his #1, Grammy-Award winning album with Lady Gaga, Cheek To Cheek, this new release continues the classic series of Tony Bennett album releases celebrating the essentials of the Great American Songbook. The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern is an appreciation of the genius of Jerome David Kern (1885-1945), one of the 20th century’s most important American composers of musical theater and popular music.
Tony Bennett is the only artist to successfully bridge the worlds of pop music and jazz on an international scale for over 60 years. The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern become parts of a timeless legacy of recordings that Bennett has done throughout his career that have embraced both genres, in particular the revered piano jazz albums that he recorded with the late Bill Evans in 1975 and 1977. Tony has become synonymous with the pop/jazz connection and in recent years has been a mentor to contemporary artists such as Lady Gaga and the late Amy Winehouse in encouraging them to embrace jazz music. With his 90th birthday less than a year away, The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern defines what makes Tony Bennett unique in the pantheon of great singers and is a testament to the legacy that he continues to create as a recording artist and influence in the music industry.
Over the course of his career, Kern composed more than 700 songs, creating musical elements used in more than 100 stage works, collaborating with the greatest lyricists and librettists of the era including P.G. Wodehouse, Oscar Hammerstein II, Dorothy Fields, Johnny Mercer, Ira Gershwin, E.Y. Harburg and many others on a seemingly limitless repertoire of classic songs including “Ol’ Man River,” “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man,” “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes,” “The Way You Look Tonight,” “Long Ago and Far Away” and many more.
New York native Jerome Kern was a major force on Broadway and in Hollywood musicals in a career that spanned more than four decades. He expanded on earlier musical theater traditions, from vaudeville to operetta, to embrace new dance rhythms, syncopation and jazz progressions and helped invent the modern musical template. While many of his Broadway musicals and Hollywood musical films were contemporary smash hits, Kern is perhaps best remembered today through revivals of “Show Boat,” one of his signature achievements.
In his liner notes for The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern, music historian Will Friedwald describes Kern as “…the key link between the great music of historical and contemporary classics, a direct connection between Brahms and Charlie Parker….a key architect of a uniquely American art form that would eventually take shape as musical theater….one of the founding fathers of a term that Tony Bennett later coined himself, ‘the Great American Songbook.'” Friedwald writes about music and popular culture for The Wall Street Journal, worked with Tony Bennett on Tony’s “The Good Life” memoir, and is author of eight books including the award-winning “A Biographical Guide to the Great Jazz and Pop Singers,” “Sinatra! The Song Is You,” “Stardust Melodies,” and “Jazz Singing.”
“The idea of a Kern Songbook project was Tony’s,” writes Will Friedwald, “thereby placing Kern on the very short list of canonical composers (Rodgers & Hart, Harold Arlen, Duke Ellington, Irving Berlin, and Cy Coleman) who have been the beneficiaries of an entire album by Bennett. It was also Bennett’s idea to create the album in collaboration with the remarkable Bill Charlap….who can also take a great song we all know by heart and make us feel like we’ve never heard it before.”
Playing alongside Tony Bennett and Bill Charlap on The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern are pianist Renee Rosnes (on the piano duet pieces), Peter Washington (bass) and Kenny Washington (drums). Unrelated, though sharing the same last name, Peter and Kenny have been performing with Bill Charlap for nearly two decades and pianist Renee Rosnes has been Charlap’s life partner for close to 10 years.
With more than 700 Jerome Kern compositions to choose from, the set list for The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern is a distillation of essential highlights from a boundless catalog. With these interpretations of some of Jerome Kern’s finest songs, Tony Bennett and Bill Charlap offer a definitive introduction to Kern’s music while providing a deep understanding of the abiding and universal qualities of these songs.
TONY BENNETT & BILL CHARLAP
THE SILVER LINING: THE SONGS OF JEROME KERN
Vocals: Tony Bennett
Pianos: Bill Charlap & Renee Rosnes
Bass: Peter Washington
Drums: Kenny Washington
Arranged by Tony Bennett and Bill Charlap
Tracks in Alphabetical Order (14 total)
ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE (single piano)
DEARLY BELOVED (trio)
I WON’T DANCE (trio)
I’M OLD FASHIONED (trio)
LOOK FOR THE SILVER LINING (piano duet)
LONG AGO AND FAR AWAY (piano duet)
MAKE BELIEVE (single piano)
NOBODY ELSE BUT ME (trio)
PICK YOURSELF UP (trio)
THE LAST TIME I SAW PARIS (piano duet)
THE SONG IS YOU (piano duet)
THE WAY YOU LOOK TONIGHT (single piano)
THEY DIDN’T BELIEVE ME (trio)
*Single piano is Bill Charlap
*Piano duet is Bill Charlap & Renee Rosnes
ABOUT TONY BENNETT:
Tony Bennett is an artist who moves the hearts and touches the souls of audiences. He’s not just the singer’s singer but also an international treasure honored by the United Nations with its Citizen of the World award, which aptly describes the scope of his accomplishments.
The son of a grocer and Italian-born immigrant, Anthony Dominick Benedetto was born on August 3, 1926, in the Astoria section of Queens, New York. He attended the High School of Industrial Arts in Manhattan, where he nurtured his dual passions, singing and painting. His boyhood idols Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole were big influences on Bennett’s easy, natural singing style. Tony sang while waiting tables as a teenager then performed with military bands throughout his overseas Army duty during World War II. After the war, the GI Bill enabled him to study vocal technique at the American Theatre Wing School.
With worldwide record sales in the millions, Tony has received eighteen Grammy Awards including the prestigious Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. The MTV generation took to Tony Bennett during his appearance with the Red Hot Chili Peppers on the 1993 MTV Video Awards. He appeared on MTV Unplugged and the recording of the same name earned him the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. “Tony Bennett has not just bridged the generation gap,” observed The New York Times, “he has demolished it. He has connected with a younger crowd weaned on rock. And there have been no compromises.”
His initial fame came via a string of Columbia singles in the early 1950s, including such chart-toppers as “Because of You,” “Rags To Riches” and a cover of Hank Williams’ “Cold, Cold Heart.” He has placed two-dozen songs in the Top 40, including “I Wanna Be Around,” “The Good Life,” “Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me)” and his signature hit, “I Left My Heart In San Francisco.” One of only a few artists to have albums chart in the 1950s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, and the new millennium, he’s introduced multitudes of songs into the Great American Songbook that have become pop music standards. Upon the release of his boxed set collection, TONY BENNETT: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION, the New York Times commented, “we aren’t likely to see a recording career like this again.” Bennett made music history when he became the oldest artist at the age of 86 to achieve a #1 record on the Billboard charts with his DUETS II CD. He broke that record at the age of 88 when his collaborative album with Lady Gaga, CHEEK TO CHEEK, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Album charts. The album went on to win a Grammy Award and fostered a sold-out and critically acclaim world-wide concert tour. Tony Bennett is a Kennedy Center Honoree and an NEA Jazz Master, and a 18-time Grammy Winner. Tony has authored four books, his official biography, two books devoted to his artwork, and the latest New York Times Bestseller, Life Is A Gift.
Tony is a dedicated painter whose interest in art began as a child. He continues to paint daily, even while touring. He has exhibited work around the world, and three of his original paintings are part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.
Throughout his career, Tony Bennett has always put his heart and time into humanitarian concerns. He’s raised millions for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. His original paintings each year grace the cover of the American Cancer Society’s holiday greeting card. He received Martin Luther King Center’s “Salute to Greatness Award” for his efforts to fight discrimination, having marched with Dr. Martin Luther King in 1965. The United Nations presented him with their 2007 Humanitarian Award.
In honor of his great friend and staunchest supporter, Tony established the Frank Sinatra School for the Arts, which opened as a New York City public high school, offering an extensive arts curriculum, in September of 2001. In 2009, a permanent site for the school opened in Bennett’s hometown of Astoria, Queens. With his wife Susan, they founded Exploring the Arts, which supports the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts and provides support to arts education in public schools.
ABOUT BILL CHARLAP:
One of the world’s premier jazz pianists, Bill Charlap has performed with many leading artists of our time, ranging from Phil Woods and Tony Bennett to Gerry Mulligan and Wynton Marsalis. He is known for his interpretations of American popular songs and has recorded albums featuring the music of Hoagy Carmichael, Leonard Bernstein, George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers and Duke Ellington.
The Bill Charlap Trio was formed in 1997 with bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington, and is now recognized as one of the leading groups in jazz. The trio has received two Grammy Award nominations: for Somewhere: The Songs of Leonard Bernstein, and for The Bill Charlap Trio: Live at the Village Vanguard, both on the Blue Note label. Mr. Charlap now records for the Impulse! record label, and his new trio recording, Notes From New York, will be released in March of 2016. The Bill Charlap Trio tours all over the world, and their New York engagements include regular appearances at Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Village Vanguard.
This summer Bill Charlap celebrated his 11th year as Artistic Director of 92nd Street Y’s Jazz in July summer festival. He has also produced concerts for Jazz at Lincoln Center, New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), the JVC Jazz Festival and the Hollywood Bowl.
Mr. Charlap has been newly appointed Director of Jazz Studies at William Paterson University, in Wayne, New Jersey. Founded in 1973, the program is one of the longest running and most respected jazz programs in the country, and Mr. Charlap will be the fifth director of the program, following distinguished musicians Thad Jones, Rufus Reid, James Williams and Mulgrew Miller.
Born in New York City, Mr. Charlap began playing the piano at age three. His father was Broadway composer Moose Charlap, whose credits include Peter Pan, and his mother is singer Sandy Stewart, who toured with Benny Goodman, appeared on the Ed Sullivan and Perry Como shows and earned a Grammy Award nomination for her recording of “My Coloring Book.”
Mr. Charlap is married to renowned jazz pianist Renee Rosnes, The couple released their highly acclaimed two-piano album Double Portrait on Blue Note in 2010. Mr. Charlap’s website is billcharlap.com