Lady Gaga: Jazz Singer?

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Great Performances: "Cheek to Cheek"
Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga performing Cheek to Cheek (2014).(The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

Pop diva, Lady Gaga, and the great Tony Bennett have been making headlines together touring their recent collaborative album, Cheek to Cheek. Who would have thought that the woman in the meat dress with the flashy, stage shows was a closet jazz vocalist…?

The pair made their first debut together singing “Lady is a Tramp” on Tony’s Duets II album, which was awarded a Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album in 2011. Tony and Lady Gaga spent the next two years selecting jazz standards and Great American Songbook classics for Cheek to Cheek, featuring such tunes as Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes” and “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye,” Duke Ellington’s “Sophisticated Lady,” and, of course, Irving Berlin’s title track, among others.

Cheek to Cheek has been lauded by the critics and topped billboard charts around the globe for good reason. Lady Gaga has afforded us insight into the true quality of her voice that has, for once, not been worked over by sound engineers. She’s proven her understanding of jazz shading and nuance, and her ability to manage the canonical American pop song with aplomb. And from the sounds of it, Tony and Lady Gaga loved making this record, and it shows.

Have a listen for yourself to Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga: Cheek to Cheek LIVE! from Jazz at Lincoln Center:

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