Feature

Tony Bennett/Dave Brubeck: The White House Sessions, Live 1962

The air of “loose, fun elegance” that two musical legends conjured one day in 1962 “makes this archival find a true treasure.”

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The air of “loose, fun elegance” that two musical legends conjured one day in 1962 “makes this archival find a true treasure,” said Steve Leggett in AllMusic.com. Tony Bennett and Dave Brubeck were “two masters at the very top of their respective games” when the Kennedy administration invited them to perform on the Mall and they chose to cap their individual performances with an impromptu, four-song shared set. Pianist Brubeck and his quartet had already laid down “a fiery, accelerated tempo version of ‘Take Five’” when Bennett and his own trio took the stage, said Bobby Reed in Down Beat. The crooner’s “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” had been on the pop charts for less than three weeks when he delivered the “muscular, romantic” reading captured here. The fun spikes, though, when Brubeck backs Bennett on a fantastic take on “That Old Black Magic”—“a glorious reminder of how Bennett in his prime was capable of crafting subtle nuance and summoning stratospheric power,” often in the same breath.

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