Tony Bennett – Tradition Personified

June 7, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Posted in Concert, Jazz, Uncategorized, Vocal | Leave a comment
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Last night’s performance at the Dodge Theatre was, as you’d expect, very well received by the audience. This is a performer that has been around the block a time or two. His distinctive vocal stylings are unmistakable and pitch perfect.

What I realized at that show is that performers like Tony and his musicians are more than the sum of their parts. They produce music that seems almost tangible.  The air fills with the sounds emanating from the stage. You can feel it, and the emotion behind it. Tony’s voice, his band’s musical artistry, and traditional craftsmanship combine to transport you on your journey right into the sound.

His band uses their instruments as extensions of themselves to reach out and envelop the audience.  There’s no new-fangled technical wizardry in their bag of tricks. They rely on old-world craftsmanship. Hardwoods bent and shaped by an artisans hands. Strings stretched taut across the Steinway soundboard, or the length of their stand up bass. Cymbals hand hammered and tuned by ear.

It takes instruments like these, and capable musicians to play them to back a legend like Tony Bennett. The man has one device – his voice.  He projects that voice into his only aid, a handheld wireless microphone, expertly.

From a technical aspect, all the sound and lighting crew have to do is remain as transparent as possible. Expertly engineered microphones  reinforce the sounds emanating from these works of art, or propel Bennett’s voice to your ears. Lights change color and intensity, but never distract from the performers.

This is not a modern audio-visual extravaganza. This is expert musicians expressing emotion through well-crafted instruments. This is Tony Bennett, tradition personified.

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