Tony Bennett just released a new album and a reconfigured version of his 1991 boxed set, but the venerable vocalist is already looking ahead to future projects. Indeed, the artist tells Billboard ther
Tony Bennett just released a new studio album and a reconfigured version of his 1991 boxed set via Columbia, but the venerable vocalist is already looking ahead to future projects.
Indeed, the artist tells Billboard there is enough material for six albums of "top-of-the-line songs and performances" left over from recording sessions dating back to the 1950s.
"I've always recorded more songs than could fit onto an LP or CD, so I've ended up with a huge catalog of 179 songs that were finished but never released," Bennett says. "So even after I'm gone I'll be coming out with new product! It just proves that the real joy of life comes out of your work: Work and love, as Freud says -- and you don't need a psychiatrist."
Bennett continues to challenge himself. In fact, for the first time in his career, the artist contributed his own lyrics to a song on his new album, "The Art of Romance." The cut, "All for You," is based on an instrumental jazz tune called "Nuages" written by Django Reinhardt and Jacques LaRue.
"I heard a nice trio playing it in Hawaii and went to the piano player and asked what tune it was," Bennett recalls. "So I found the family who owned it and got permission to write the lyric, and it's funny, but it just rolled out in an hour."
A love song for Bennett's companion Susan Crow, "All for You" keeps with the album title's theme. He says it was also inspired by "all the great lyricists from the Golden Age -- [Jerome] Kern and Ira Gershwin, Yip Harburg and [Johnny] Mercer, of course." He points here to his inclusion of Geoffrey Clarkson and Mercer's previously unrecorded "Time to Smile," which he expects will eventually become a pop standard.
Foremost among Bennett's promotional activities supporting the new album is a five-night Thanksgiving week stand at Jazz at Lincoln Center's new Rose Theater. This follows his performance at the complex's Oct. 18 gala opening.