Saturday Music Interlude — Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga in Brussels and in the Studio

There is not much more that can be said about Tony Bennett.  He is a living treasure.  Since “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” I have followed him on his musical odyssey and then later, as a man in my 30s, explored the rich musical legacy of his earlier years.  It is hard to believe that Tony Benedetto of Astoria, New York, is 88 years old.  The surprise for me on the duets these artists have performed is the wonderful instrument that is the voice of Lady Gaga (Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta of Yonkers, New York).  It is almost as if her musical career was destined to lead her to this album.  Her powerful voice is both expressive and enveloping, tuned perfectly to the tempo and the register of the music.  I am only disappointed that there is no video of “Lush Life” performed by Lady GaGa solo which critics have described as one of the best renditions of this difficult song.  This collaboration, which began life from a benefit concert in New York, plows no new ground for these jazz standards.  But big things always start out with small steps.  Lady Gaga has always been known for her ability to handle vocal gymnastics and jazz music is a gold mine of challenging songs that would suit her voice and attitude.