Tony Bennett and Christina Aguilera team up on “Steppin’ Out With My Baby.’
Tony Bennett is no stranger to sharing the recording studio with female pop stars. His “Lady Is A Tramp” duet with Lady Gaga, which appeared on his Duets II disc, earned him his first-ever No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 (and the chance to sketch Gaga in the nude!), making him the oldest (and probably most sophisticated) living act to reach No. 1. He’s also no stranger to winning things — he’s got 17 Grammy Awards to his name. To put that in Justin Bieber years, that’s one Grammy for almost every year Justin Bieber has been on this planet.
And, after seven decades in the game, Tony Bennett’s showing no signs of stopping; at 86 years young (and still touring, painting, recording and even starring in an autobiographical documentary), he’s back at it with his latest album, the Latin-inspired Viva Duets, out October 22. And which female powerhouse did he call for an assist? None other than murderous “Your Body” songstress, Christina Aguilera. And we’ve got the exclusive premiere of their spin on the Irving Berlin classic and jazz standard, “Steppin’ Out With My Baby.”
Listen to Tony Bennett and Christina Aguilera’s “Steppin’ Out With My Baby,” after the jump.
While we’re sure that Tony’s other Viva Duets collaborators (Marc Anthony, Gloria Estefan, and more) will be spectacular on every level, we’re pretty sure none will quite compare to his “Steppin’ Out” collabo with Christina Aguilera. Tony’s lush and seasoned vocals (and mistakable, masterful vibrato!) pair perfectly with Christina’s set of powerhouse pipes, not to mention that Xtina’s riffs are without flaw (because it’s Christina Aguilera).
And this isn’t Tony’s first take on “Steppin’ Out With My Baby.” His cover of the jazz standard, known to classic film and jazz buffs as Fred Astaire’s solo in “Easter Parade,” appeared on his 1993 Fred Astaire tribute album, Steppin’ Out. “Steppin’ Out With My Baby” was recorded at the historic Los Angeles Theater when Tony and Christina teamed up to perform the song on his 2006 NBC special, “An American Classic.” It was their first time recording together, and its place on the Viva Duets record marks the first time their duet has appeared on any of his albums.
As with any standard, the song feels out of time, but Tony and Christina add new life — and a refreshing dash of the kind of old razzmatazz you rarely hear in mainstream music anymore. Our only complaint? Now we want an entire album devoted to Tony Bennett and Christina Aguilera duets.
Photo credit: Columbia Records