The Zen of Tony Bennett

Tony Bennett is at Prudential Hall in Newark, NJ on Sunday, Jan. 27 and at the Opera House in Boston on Valentine's Day.

Tony Bennet plays the Opera House in Boston on Valentine’s Day.

Tony Bennett has achieved something that many pop stars are unlikely to equal: a major label career — the same label at that: Columbia — spanning 60 years.  It’s unimaginable nowadays and even Bennett is surprised.

“I absolutely cannot believe I had my first hit with Columbia in 1951,” the pop jazz singer tells Metro.  “I still love what I do and I think it’s an honor to entertain people. That’s what keeps me going.”

Frank Sinatra famously gave Bennett a leg-up by name checking him as a personal favorite. But, before that, Bennett counts his teacher Mimi Speer as setting him up for success.

“She told me not to listen to other singers as influences because you then end up just sounding like one of the chorus,” says the Astoria native.  “Instead, she encouraged me to listen to jazz musicians I admired and learn a vocal style from the way they played their instruments.  I always loved the honey tones of Stan Getz’s saxophone playing and the way Art Tatum presented his songs on the piano so dramatically. I crafted a style based on both of these jazz musicians.”

Ultimately, it is perhaps Bennett’s philosophy and foresight that forged his path, as revealed in the documentary “The Zen of Bennett” and autobiography “Life is a Gift.”

“I started out always wanting to achieve a hit catalog and not just have hit songs,” he says. “It forced me to stick to my guns, even when I was just a young pup at the record label and had to fight to record only high quality pop songs, and avoid novelty tunes that would hit it big for a few weeks and then be instantly forgotten.”

All the things he is
Bennett’s tour includes shows on and around Valentine’s Day. Will he switch around his repertoire to be more romantic?

“Since I work with jazz musicians we are always changing things every day,” says Bennett. Any favorite smoochy songs? “One of my all time favorite romantic songs is ‘All The Things You Are.’ It’s a beautiful song.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…