Tony Bennett & Bill Evans: Young and Foolish


Young and Foolish


Tony Bennett (vocals) and Bill Evans (piano)


The Tony Bennett - Bill Evans Album (Concord 6023)

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Tony Bennett (vocals), Bill Evans (piano).

Composed by Albert Hague and Arnold B. Horwitt


Recorded: Berkeley, CA, June 10-13, 1975


Rating: 92/100 (learn more)

With the passing of time, this recording has taken on the luster of a classic. But when the collaboration between Bennett and Evans first took place in the mid-1970s, both artists were at a low ebb. A few years earlier, Evans and Bennett were on the roster of the preeminent Columbia label—Tony for a long period and Evans just for a couple projects—before being discarded by label execs in the youth-oriented spirit of the times. Few people paid much attention when this LP was released; it wasn't seen as a meeting of the masters, just another sign that down-and-out artists had to join together to add to their declining drawing power.

But time has a way of improving our vision. Bennett is now a lauded elder statesman of the entertainment industry and Evans a jazz legend from the past, and—as the old saying goes—they made beautiful music together. Evans had recorded "Young and Foolish" before, back in 1958, in a meditative trio performance with Sam Jones and Philly Joe Jones, and did more than anyone to establish this song (from the musical Plain and Fancy) as a jazz standard. Bennett sings with his heart on his sleeve, and entices Evans into one of his more emotionally sustained performances from this later period in his career. If someone asked me to pick a jazz performance that completely realized the sensibility established by the lyrics of the song, this would be one of the first tracks I would select.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia


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