Bennett sets an indigo mood

Bennett sets an indigo mood

By R. John Narusis, Guest Reviewer

The moon glowed indigo as elder statesman Tony Bennett stopped the clock at Ravinia Music Theatre and transported young and old alike through a timeless journey of song.

A sea of candles flickered in the balmy evening breeze that softly illuminated the thousands of lawn spectators during Bennett’s sold-out, Friday, Aug. 16, closing night performance.

Bennett, who turned 76 on Aug. 3rd took a break between songs and briefly spoke on his career that has spanned the better part of five decades. This was Bennett’s 18th engagement at Ravinia. In a light-hearted tone, Bennett said, “I’ve had so many hits that I was the Britney Spears of my time. . . I hope to be singing songs for another 50 years.”

Backed by a solid jazz quartet and music being his palette, Bennett painted an aural canvas of multi-colored melodies during his 90-minute set.

Bennett paid kudos to legendary contemporaries like Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday.

“Steppin’ Out With My Baby,” showed Bennett at his soft shoe best. Whereas, Garland’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” was tearfully poignant.

At one point, with the masterpieces, “Mood Indigo” and “Good Morning Heartache,” Bennett, melodically created the feel of a smoky blues lounge late at night where the miserable come to dwell.

Bennett sang, “It seems I met ya…when my love had gone away… I start each day out just by saying to you…Good morning heartache, what’s new…. Stop haunting me now, can’t shake you no how…. Good morning, heartache, why don’t ya sit on down, sit down.”

By the time Bennett closed with “New York State of Mind,” the clock started to tick once more as the last peanut shell fell to the imaginary club floor. The candles began to flicker their last light, bringing the audience back to reality and the appreciation that Bennett hasn’t lost touch with Rhythm & Blues.

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