Does anyone like Tony Bennett

Music: Tony Bennett in a duet with Lady Gaga and Winehouse

Stars like Lady Gaga, Natalie Cole, Queen Latifah, Aretha Franklin, Norah Jones, John Mayer and Andrea Bocelli can be heard with him on the new album "Duets II". The recording with Amy Winehouse "Body and Soul" in March was to be her last: The 27-year-old British singer died in July.

The album is the second installment to Tony Bennett Duets: An American Classic, which was released in 2006 and won three Grammys. In an interview with the German Press Agency (dpa) in New York, the 85-year-old, multiple award-winning musician reported on the creation of the album.

Why did you choose to release an album with duets again?

Tony Bennett: "Well, it just sells well. It's very special and I need the money" (laughs).

Is there a favorite song on the album?

Bennett: "I really like the one I sang with Aretha Franklin," How Do You Keep The Music Playing ". The song is so well written, the lyrics and music form a perfect unit. And it sings just great."

How was the recording with Amy Winehouse just months before her death?

Bennett: "When Amy Winehouse showed up, she did everything right. She was as good as Ella Fitzgerald or Billie Holiday - with the same creativity, intonation and instinct. I was very impressed. She was better than everyone else. I feel that You can also hear about our recording: "Body and Soul" is a kind of national anthem for all jazz singers, it's everyone's favorite song. That's why I chose it for her. She sang it wonderfully and it was her last recording. It's so sad that she died shortly afterwards, I would have liked to have made a whole album with her. "

What quality do the singing partners with whom you step in front of the microphone have to be?

Bennett: "You have to create a contrast to my voice. So that the audience knows whether I am singing or the other artist. So that they can hear whether it is a lady or a man with a different sound. The whole idea is based on contrast."

It is said that you had to cross the Atlantic several times for the recordings?

Bennett: "I had never done something like this before. It was a very international affair. We flew to Andrea Bocelli in Siena, we went to Abbey Road Studios in London with Amy Winehouse, and we met Carrie Underwood in Nashville and Los Angeles with Queen Latifah and kd Lang. And of course Lady Gaga was in New York. "

You have a very special relationship with Lady Gaga, why?

Bennett: "She is very original and extremely intelligent. I've never met someone who thinks so much so quickly. And is so good at the same time. When we recorded" The Lady Is A Tramp "together, she was wearing a beautiful evening dress . The next day she appeared on TV on a talk show in a plaid dress with plaid sunglasses. And to the MTV gala she was dressed as a man. She's very creative, that's wonderful and spectacular. Lady Gaga can be with someone else in a day become."

Are there any artists you would like to perform with?

Bennett: "I would have loved to sing with Louis Armstrong. I never had the chance. He would have been my favorite star because he invented the real American style: swing, scat singing, improvisation."

Do you still enjoy being on stage after 60 years?

Bennett: "You're only as good as the next show. I want the audience to feel good. When the audience leaves, have them say: I really enjoyed that. I do that better than anything else in the world." . I like to work live. And I do it so that it never gets boring ".

Interview: Carla S. Reissman, dpa (dpa)