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Thursday September 12, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Thursday September 12, 2013 MYT 7:31:03 AM
by revathi murugappan
Show stopper: Jazz legend Tony Bennett showed he was still on top of his game during his one night show at Plenary Hall, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on Monday night.
Age is but a number, as proven by Tony Bennett on stage in Kuala Lumpur.
TONY Bennett is a legend, all right, and he showed us why at the Plenary Hall in Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on Monday night.
The 87-year-old crooner put on a slick performance as he took the audience on a voyage of timeless classics and jazz standards.
He didn’t falter, knew all his lyrics, could even do a little twirl and jig with his daughter Antonia, and if that was not impressive, sang his heart out.
We all need a dose of his elixir just to have half his stamina and enthusiasm.
Given his age, Bennett may take a while to come by this region again, if ever.
The concert started punctually. Antonia, a jazz-oriented singer in her own right, opened the evening with her version of Too Marvellous For Words and other songbook classics such as Taking A Chance On Love and Embraceable You. While her voice was no match to some of the jazz divas or to her father’s, she made the “opening act” grade.
She related how she continued to stand at the wings and marvel at her father every time he walked on stage and started singing.
“I learnt so much from my dad just by watching him,” she said.
Looking dapper in a beige jacket, papa Bennett was introduced by a recorded voice of Frank Sinatra as he ambled on stage and stole the limelight.
Backed by a four-piece band, he charmed his mostly older audience with an array of hits, the majority of them tracing his extraordinary, multi-Grammy winning career.
He let the music do the talking and limited the patter, offering very little audience interaction. After every song, there was appreciative applause and Bennett could only grin in satisfaction.
In his rich baritone voice, the veteran artiste was very much at the top of his game.
Out came I Got Rhythm, Who Cares, For Once In My Life, Just In Time, Shadow of Your Smile and Boulevard Of Broken Dreams, one of the first songs he recorded back in 1950. Bennett’s voice quivered with passion in The Way You Look Tonight.
He started off with an a cappella version while the guitarist softly strummed the chords before the band joined in. What a lovely rendition.
Daddy and daughter also did a duet called Old Friends. He then dedicated The Good Life to his good friend, Lady Gaga, who he had collaborated with (the jazz album Cheek to Cheek will be released soon), and joked, “I’d like you to buy the album because I need the money!”
The only time Bennett’s age became apparent was when he held up a piece of paper containing the lyrics to the song dedicated to his wife and his hands started to tremble.
Whispers of “Look, his hands are shaking,” could be heard all around. Come on people, the man is almost 90!
Not sure if the audience was having fun, he politely asked, “May we keep going?” A resounding “yes” reverberated through the auditorium and Bennett launched into his signature I Left My Heart In San Francisco while the crowd merrily sang along.
As he does in all his concerts, he delivered his first encore, Fly Me To The Moon, sans microphone and threw his voice out with gusto.
Bennett sailed through the high notes effortlessly, without missing a beat. Bennett came back for the second encore, singing Charlie Chaplin’s Smile and When You’re Smiling, made famous by Louis Armstrong The audience wanted more but Bennett had enough, blew a kiss and called it a night.
For someone who’s been entertaining the masses for over 60 years, he deserved nothing less than multiple standing ovations.
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Entertainment, Entertainment, Music, Jazz, Tony Bennett
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