The Best of the Improv Recordings

The Best of the Improv Recordings

by Tony BennettTony Bennett


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Improv was a label started by Tony Bennett and businessman Bill Hassett. Bennett was fed up with the suits at Columbia Records, who were trying to make him sing rock & roll. When his contract expired at the beginning of the 1970s, he and Hassett formed a label to help him realize his aesthetic ambitions, and Improv was born. Bennett recorded five albums for the label between 1973 and 1977 before it went bankrupt. These recordings may not have sold well -- due largely to distribution problems -- but all of them were critically acclaimed. On these sides, Bennett is in awesome company throughout, with talent ranging from Bill Evans and Earl Hines to Ruby Braff to Marian McPartland to Buddy Tate and Charlie Byrd. Selections come from the original albums Tony Bennett Sings 10 Rodgers & Hart Songs, Tony Bennett Sings More Great Rodgers & Hart, Tony Bennett and Bill Evans Together Again (this was the follow-up to the Fantasy set entitled The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album, and is easily the better of the two), Life Is Beautiful, and Tony Bennett with the McPartlands and Friends Make Magnificent Music. Although collectors will opt for the completist box set (The Complete Improv Recordings), this is a good summation of a restlessly original artist during the biggest gamble of his professional career.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/12/2011
Label: Concord Records
UPC: 0888072329553
catalogNumber: 32955
Rank: 158379

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Tony Bennett   Primary Artist,Vocals
George Barnes   Guitar
Ruby Braff   Cornet
Charlie Byrd   Guitar
Bill Evans   Piano
Buddy Tate   Saxophone
Brian Torff   Bass
Jimmy McPartland   Cornet
Herb Hall   Clarinet
Chuck Higgins   Drums
Joe Cocuzzo   Drums
Vic Dickenson   Trombone
Marian McPartland   Piano
Wayne Wright   Guitar
Torrie Zito   Piano,Conductor
John Giuffrida   Bass
George Reed   Drums
Spider Martin   Saxophone

Technical Credits

Tony Bennett   Producer
Richard Rodgers   Composer
Alan Bergman   Composer
Marilyn Bergman   Composer
Don Cody   Producer,Engineer
Duke Ellington   Composer
Will Friedwald   Liner Notes
Lorenz Hart   Composer
Helen Keane   Producer
Frank Laico   Engineer
Marian McPartland   Duet
Jule Styne   Composer
Torrie Zito   Orchestration
Bob Grotke   Engineer
Ana Baracca   Cover Design
Herman Hupfeld   Composer
Steven Lapa   Producer
Engvick   Composer
Vince Morette   Engineer

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