Tony Bennett / Count Basie

Bennett & Basie Strike Up the Band

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Tony Bennett recorded two albums with Count Basie and His Orchestra under a contractual agreement giving one of the records to Bennett's label, Columbia, and the other to Basie's, Roulette. The Columbia album, In Person!, was released once, while the Roulette album, initially issued under the title Strike Up The Band, has been re-released by various labels under various titles endlessly. This is one of those reissues, and while one may deplore the duplicitous marketing scheme, the pairing between Bennett and Basie remains impressive. The band raves through tunes like "With Plenty Of Money And You," and Bennett matches them, drawing strength from the bravura arrangements, while band and singer achieve a knowing tenderness on "Growing Pains." This is an album well worth owning; just make sure you don't buy it twice.