Bennett, Gaga thrill at jazz fest

Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett (both left) delivered 30 songs during their 100-minute show.
Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett (both above) delivered 30 songs during their 100-minute show.PHOTO: REUTERS

MONTREUX, SWITZERLAND • Pop star Lady Gaga and crooner Tony Bennett brought a mix of Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra and even Edith Piaf to a sell-out crowd spanning generations at the Montreux Jazz Festival on Monday night.

Legendary producer Quincy Jones introduced the odd American couple, praising Gaga as a singer who had "blown his mind".

He also recalled working on the musical arrangement for Bennett's 1966 hit Girl Talk. "This would be Claude's definite dream," Jones said, referring to Claude Nobs, the late founder of one of Europe's most prestigious summer music festivals, now in its 49th edition.

Bennett, the only person in the famed Stravinski Auditorium wearing a jacket and tie, and the blonde Gaga, appearing first in a long shiny silver dress with plunging neckline, opened with Anything Goes, a Cole Porter tune of the 1930s.

The pair of New Yorkers then sang Cheek To Cheek by Irving Berlin, the title track from their 2014 album of jazz standards for which they won a Grammy in February.

Bennett, just weeks shy of his 89th birthday, and Gaga, 29, delivered 30 songs during their 100-minute non-stop show, backed by nine musicians.

"We're selling our album around the world, please buy it. She really needs the money," he quipped.

Gaga is better known for her hits Paparazzi and Poker Face.

She hit the high notes in Montreux in half a dozen eye-popping outfits, changing backstage during Bennett's solos. During love ballads, she gave him hugs or kisses on the cheeks.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 08, 2015, with the headline 'Bennett, Gaga thrill at jazz fest'. Print Edition | Subscribe