Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga have made their long awaited collaboration project official today, announcing the release of Cheek to Cheek on The Today Show this morning. The album is a combination of vocal duets and solo performances, and though the tracklist remains unconfirmed, it will feature a collection of jazz standards including Duke Ellington’s “Sophisticated Lady” and “It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes,” and “Cheek to Cheek,” the record’s title track. Cheek to Cheek was recorded in Bennett and Gaga’s native New York City, and having taken over a year to complete, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that the record also features accompanying jazz musicians associated with both artists. From Bennett’s quartet; Mike Renzi, Gray Sargent, Harold Jones and Marshall Wood appear on the record, as well as Lady Gaga’s long-time friend, trumpeter Brian Newman along with his NYC jazz quintet. Selected tracks include jazz solos by tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano and recently deceased flautist Paul Horn.
The collaboration between Bennett and Lady Gaga began in 2011, when when Gaga recorded a version of “The Lady Is A Tramp” with Bennett for his album, Duets II. The two New Yorkers even surprised the student body at NYC public arts high school Frank Sinatra School of the Arts (founded by Bennett), when they spoke and performed for the school on the last day of classes in June. Regarding the new collaborative project, Lady Gaga stated, “Cheek To Cheek came out of a very organic friendship and relationship that Tony and I have built over the years and it truly was a collaborative effort. It was important to Tony that this was a jazz record. I’ve been singing jazz since I was a child and really wanted to show the authentic side of the genre. We made an album of jazz classics, but it has a modern twist.”
However unlikely, Cheek to Cheek will be available for purchase on Tuesday, September 23rd. Their debut song “Anything Goes” is available now on iTunes.