Before Amy Winehouse died on July 23rd, she collaborated with Tony Bennett on a new recording of Body and Soul. Listen to Winehouse as she speaks of her father’s love for Tony Bennett’s music.
Surely when they met in the recording sessions, Bennett and Winehouse would have thought that his thread on this mortal coil had just about come to its ending, while for hers might spin on for another fifty or sixty years. It is startling to me to hear her speaking voice in that first recording. It’s so rough, so dissipated by years of alcoholism and drug abuse, that she croaks like a human frog. The song in its entirety displays the voices of these two artists, both after their best work was behind them. Both are in good voice backed with a good arrangement. Together they combine to produce a song that may not be the best work either of them has ever done, but still stands as a worthy monument to Amy Winehouse’s memory.
Though it doesn’t replace Tony Bennett’s best work in the hearts of his fans (listen to this Youtube list for a sampling), it is a testament to his remarkably resilient career, and his ability to appeal to a fresh, young audience. Here is Bennett speaking about the Winehouse session.