- Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
- Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for "Body & Soul" with Amy Winehouse
- Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) for "Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me) with Queen Latifah, arranged by Jorge Calandrelli
Before we get fully into this, take a few minutes and watch Tony speak on being an artist and creating this album. He's like a grandfather in a way, gentle, but so inspiring. And humble, dear goodness. This was wonderful.
First up is a duet with Lady Gaga for "The Lady Is A Tramp," a classic little number you may have heard of before. Here's a video they made for it:
"One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)" is next with the hilarious John Mayer (seriously - if you can find some of his old late night show skits, watch and but a gut laughing). I'm maybe a little blown away by John's voice here... whoa. It's smooth and fantastic and... whoa. I need more of this John Mayer in my life.
The next song is probably the most critically acclaimed number that has come from this album. Known as one of Amy's final recordings, "Body and Soul" is an incredibly romantic, soulful song. Here's a glimpse into their recording experience:
My boy, Michael Buble, joins with one of his inspirations for "Don't Get Around Music Anymore."
"Blue Velvet" brings in k.d. lang in possibly the most classic-sounding track we've had yet. It's gentle and lovely. Entirely relaxing and sings in an old-world way that you do not hear on new songs anymore. The orchestra takes over in the absolute right spots, and everything flows perfectly.
And now two powerhouses of music come together for "How Do You Keep The Music Playing." If there is anything Aretha Franklin cannot sing, I have yet to hear it. Seriously, she is incredible. He is amazing. This is possibly one of the greatest duets to ever be put together. The song itself is sad and slightly boring, but their voices alone make for a great listening experience. She even adds her Queen of Soul flair to it all in just the right spots.
Sheryl Crow comes on for "The Girl I Love." Not going to lie, I've never been a big Sheryl fan, ever. I don't know what it is that irks me about her voice or her music, but it's never totally appealed to me. This may be where she's found a good niche though, if she were to stick to it. She's got a smooth classy voice for music like this, and Tony provides this back vocal to her story that is a great compliment. It's perfect, by the way, for hopeless romantic girls like me.
Hold. Up. Willie Nelson?? "On The Sunny Side Of The Street" is done here like you've never heard it before. It's slowed down, and Willie brought his guitar to the studio to hammer out some country/jazz rifts for us! It's really a cool job overall by the two of them. I would have never expected this one coming.
And now we get to the other Grammy nominated song featuring Queen Latifah, "Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me)." I think we all realized Queen Latifah could sing long ago, especially given her work in movies. She continues to bring it here, and the entire number is just beautiful. It's an old fashioned song, to say the least. There's this smokiness to it that transports you back to another time of love and romance, yah know, when all of that mattered.
My girl Norah Jones makes another appearance on my blog with their song, "Speak Low."
"This Is All I Ask" brings us another voice that doesn't necessarily sound as great as we may have expected for this album, Josh Groban. Don't get me wrong, I love his work for what it is. He's got this classical voice that you're lucky to even hear on Broadway anymore. But maybe it's not quiet right for Tony's style. Nonetheless, this is another great pick if you're going to experiment with new voices.
Natalie Cole, another one of the greats! "Watch What Happens" sounds like something remastered straight out of the 40's. Now these are two voices that meld together in a way no other two can. They known how to tackle the song in an appropriate, ear-pleasing manner. It helps that their backgrounds here are similar, but really, it just all works.
And now, for two of the most timeless voices we've ever heard, with "Stranger in Paradise":
And now, a classic I've been waiting for, Faith Hill joins us for "The Way You Look Tonight."
A name I'm not as familiar with, Alejandro Sanz, joins in for "Yesterday I Heard The Rain."
"It Had To Be You" brings in a singer I have a love/hate relationship with, Carrie Underwood. It's a classic number, and she's so lucky yo get the sing on it. I have to admit, she's good on this track. She's light and pretty about it, which is a change from a lot of her other music. She fits where she's needed here, and isn't over-powering about it. Actually, if I hadn't read the description, I might not have known it was her at all.
I'm equally as impressed with our final duet and singer, Mariah Carey, in "When Do The Bells Ring For Me." Again, here we have someone who can over-power us with her awesome voice. Instead, she brings it down and compliments Tony's voice in a heartfelt song. It's just right for both of them and entirely enjoyable for us.