Released in mid-September on Interscope records and Columbia Records and downloaded here from HIRESAUDIO this one was a bit of a surprise for me not least because it’s not that often you get a record put together by an eighty eight year old crooner and someone famed as much for her outrageous dress sense (take the infamous meat dress as an example) as her music. This one has “Approach With Care” written all over it and I did just that, expecting it to get a quick flick through then forever to be relegated to the dustiest and seldom ventured to virtual shelf.
I don’t know a lot about Lady Gaga apart from the dodgy rumours that were circulating a couple of years ago about whether Gaga was an hermaphrodite or not and her somewhat “individual” choice of outfit. That said I recall watching Glastonbury on the box a few years ago and there was Lady Gaga sat behind a piano and singing properly…I remember commenting at the time that she as exceptionally talented, but then the releases that I know since then have been throwaway pop dance that I can live without thanks very much.

This is a bit different to what I was expecting and all the better for it. The two artists have collaborated in the past with a version of Roger and Hart’s The Lady Is A Tramp and Cheek to Cheek continues the theme of jazz standards and before the album’s release there were two singles, Anything Goes and I Can’t give You Anything But Love which both reached number one in the Billboard Jazz Digital Songs Chart.

Ok, I may have been initially right about Gaga when I heard her on the Glastonbury coverage but then I soon lost all interest with fame Monster and the associated singles. She has a terrific jazz vocal that just oozes class and is complemented brilliantly by Bennett’s well known delivery. The two sing duets for the main part on this album, but there are a handful of tunes where they sing individually. You’ll certainly know all the tunes on Cheek To Cheek and the musicianship on show is exemplary and has a real feel of the great era of swing recordings.

This Deluxe version has 15 tunes whereas the standard version has just 11 ans each one is a really great version of the original. Gagas voice is superbly relevant to this genre and there is clearly a great synergy between her and Bennett which come together to create a really stunning record.

Given the time of year I reckon this will be a big hit over the Xmas period.

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