To have Tony Bennett and Diana Krall celebrate the music of The Gershwins for an album honoring George's 120th Birthday (Sept. 26, 2018) is quite simply: "S'Wonderful."
George Gershwin was the most ambitious and diverse of 20th century music-makers, rivalled only by Duke Ellington and Leonard Bernstein. Gershwin's music seemed to belong everywhere and anywhere: on the Broadway stage and the silver screen; in the dance halls and the concert halls, on radio, television, and the internet; in the ballroom, in the bedroom, and even the boardroom. More than any other songwriter, his work has been played by jazz bands and symphony orchestras, and sung by pop singers, jazz singers, and even blues singers and opera singers. When a South African folk singer or a Hindi or Chinese pop star sings "Summertime" in their native language, nobody is surprised.
Perhaps even more importantly, within the course of his short lifetime (38 years, from 1898 to 1937), George Gershwin became a symbol of human achievement: for the music industry, for immigrant families, for New Yorkers, for Americans, and all citizens of the world. In an age when songwriters mostly toiled in obscurity — overshadowed by the singers and bandleaders who performed their music — Gershwin was a widely beloved international celebrity. At the moment of his tragically early death, the great American writer John O'Hara — a hard-bitten pessimist famous for his rather cynical novels — famously proclaimed that he didn't have to believe it if he didn't want to.
In 1924, Gershwin reached his first of many peaks of artistic maturity: as a Broadway tunesmith, this was the moment when he began a permanent, full-time collaboration with his most perfect partner, his brilliant older brother, Ira Gershwin.
Together, Tony Bennett and pianist/jazz vocalist Diana Krall celebrate their shared love of the music of George and Ira Gershwin on their new collaborative album, Love Is Here To Stay, set for a September 14 release on Verve Records/Columbia Records. Tony Bennett, who celebrates his 92nd birthday on Aug 3, 2018, has been friends with Diana Krall for more than 20 years.