"Here's your first look at what could've been. The video for "Body and Soul," Tony Bennett's duet with Amy Winehouse, was released Wednesday, on what would have been the young singer's 28th birthday. The track, Winehouse's final recording before her death in July, features the unlikely pair in a tender and often playful mood in the studio."
Winehouse's healthy appearance and ebullient mood in the clip is only matched by her stunning grasp of jazz phrasing throughout the 1930s track, written by Edward Heyman, Robert Sour and Frank Eyton and Johnny Green, and made famous by Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holliday and Frank Sinatra, among others.
Last month, Bennett shared with Billboard.com his experience with Winehouse and how he was able to calm her nerves with a supreme compliment.
"I think [the video for the track] will surprise everybody as to how well we ended up getting along," said Bennett, who recorded with Winehouse at EMI's Abbey Road studios in London. "She was a little apprehensive about how to go about [the song], and I said to her, 'I may be wrong, but it sounds like you're influenced by Dinah Washington,' and that just blew her mind. She just said, 'Oh my God, you mean you can actually hear that? She's my idol!' And that relaxed her, and that's the record we ended up making."
Winehouse died of still-undetermined causes July 23 at 27. Her family announced the launch of the Amy Winehouse Foundation on Wednesday as well. The charity will derive much of its income from the release of "Body And Soul."
Bennett told Billboard that "Duets II," due out Sept. 20, will be "the last" of its kind. The first "Duets" debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and sold more than three million copies worldwide.
All of the sessions were filmed and will be released as both online content as well as a making-of documentary. Bennett is playing the Metropolitan Opera House in New York on Sept. 18 and the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sept. 24, both of which are expected to feature guests from his pair of "Duets" albums. A large-scale, career-spanning box set, meanwhile, is due out this fall.