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Jack Jones: Jack Jones Paints a Tribute to Tony Bennett

Singer Jack Jones doesn’t sound like Tony Bennett, but it’s uncanny how much he phrases like his elder idol on this tribute album of 14 ballads. It’s obviously a challenge (or totally insane) for any male crooner to attempt to match Bennett’s delivery on songs he “owns” such as “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” “Fly Me to the Moon,” “You Must Believe in Spring,” and “The Good Life.” But on these chestnuts and others that Bennett popularized, Jones appealingly pays homage to the colleague he first befriended in the 1960s.

While you may not consider the Grammy-winning pop vocalist Jones to be a jazz stylist, he’s a seasoned pro as both recording artist and stage performer, and this lavish album may be his best yet. Jones’ reverent, rich-toned stylings are marvelously supported by the incomparable (and underrated) jazz pianist Mike Renzi, whose laudable arrangements and mellisonant piano accompaniment (with bassist Craig Nelson and drummer Jimmy Blakemore) heighten the dramatic value of each song on this attractive session.

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