Bennett, Gaga: Kids should know more about jazz U.S. singers Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett pose on the balcony of Brussels townhall (AP photo / Reuters)
Bennett, Gaga: Kids should know more about jazz
Lexile

Kids, singers Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga have homework for you. They want you to listen to their new jazz album.

The Grammy winners say they hope "Cheek to Cheek," an album featuring selections from the Great American Songbook, will turn younger people on to jazz music. The Great American Songbook includes the best American music of the 20th century.

"The point of this album is not only to bring Tony and I together to collaborate, but to bring jazz to an entirely new audience," Gaga said. "This is really about us giving jazz what it deserves, which is the upmost respect and upmost praise."

"Cheek to Cheek" features covers of songs from Duke Ellington's "Sophisticated Lady" to Cole Porter's "Anything Goes" to Billy Strayhorn's "Lush Life." Gaga and Bennett have worked on the album, to be released Tuesday, for two years.

"Besides having the whole world enjoying her right now, she has a vast group of young people who love her, and they've never heard popular jazz music, classical American music," Bennett said. "And my ambition was to do this album so they would get acquainted with that music."

Gaga, who grew in New York like Bennett, said she has been singing jazz music since she was 13. She broke onto the music scene in 2008 with multiple No. 1 hits flavored with dance and electronic beats.

"It's truer to my nature," she said of recording jazz. "Because so much of what I've done has been heavily Auto-Tuned or made very electronic to fit on the radio, but this is so much easier because I'm a rebel and this is really rebellious for me to say goodbye to pop for a moment and just sing some pure jazz." Auto Tune is an electronic process that can artificially improve sound.

"The truth is that this is the original pop music of America," she added. "And I've been trying to explain to my fans in the best way that I can that these songs are truly timeless."

Gaga, 28, and Bennett, 88, first collaborated in 2011 on "The Lady Is a Tramp." The song appeared on Bennett's album "Duets II," which sold more than 1 million copies and won two Grammy Awards. Bennett, who had his first number one song in 1951, said the key to his longevity is maintaining high standards.

"I joined the American Theatre Wing (after fighting in World War II) and it was the best choice I ever made because the first thing they taught everybody, whether it was music or dancing or singing, they taught everybody 'Never compromise, only do quality,'" Bennett said. "And now it's all paid off."

Critical thinking challenge: Why does this collaboration have a better chance of introducing jazz to kids? What does Lady Gaga add to the equation?

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COMMENTS (10)
  • Cameron8201
    9/23/2014 - 02:32 p.m.

    I think an introduction of jazz to kids is a great idea. I am in an after school jazz band, and all of the band members are very excited about the music. As the article says, jazz is the original pop music of America. Kids need to know about jazz, as it is so influential. Most of the music we listen to was influenced by 1940s jazz. Altogether, this is an amazing idea.

  • DBritney-Cas
    9/23/2014 - 11:01 p.m.

    Being in the jazz band at school, it's cool to see jazz be brought into the pop culture. And since a lot of people listen to Gaga that will boost the popularity of the album and increase the amount of listeners.

  • TaylorHartman-Ste
    9/24/2014 - 09:20 a.m.

    I think that it is just plain weird that Lady Gaga is singing jazz with another man because that is not her type at all. I was intrigued to read this article though because I have been wondering what had happened to her.

  • haileyn1
    9/25/2014 - 07:22 a.m.

    I think this is great! They are both great artist and I cant wait to hear them together, again. Gaga is going with what her heart is telling her and I think her fans will enjoy it as much as she does. Bennett has always been one of my favorite singers and Im so happy they made an album together

  • MFrancisco-Sti
    9/25/2014 - 09:44 a.m.

    Is this Lady Gaga's fist album with Bennett? I hope that this album is awesome like all of Lady's all of her sings.I also hope that Gaga's and Bennett's new album comes out soon.

  • MDesmond-Cas
    9/27/2014 - 10:39 p.m.

    I believe having a strong pop idol and role model like Gaga introduce jazz to pop culture is a fantastic thing. Jazz is important to music and is more stimulating than electronic pop, so having more young people broaden their horizons can make for better future artists and even better grades in school.

  • brianfantana
    9/30/2014 - 01:45 p.m.

    This collaboration has a better chance of introducing jazz to kids in two ways. One, is that parents or grandparents may listen to the album for Tony Bennett and when they are listening the kids or grand kids may listen to it with them or over hear it and enjoy it. Two, Lady Gaga has lots of fans, young and older, so I think the younger kids who are fans of her will listen to it and be introduced to jazz.

  • alexam7
    10/01/2014 - 01:48 p.m.

    I think its great that lady gaga is doing a jazz album.I don't like jazz personally but i think i would listen to it.

  • darbyd-Koc
    10/02/2014 - 10:28 p.m.

    I agree with them. Kids these days don't have as much variety in their music taste, in my opinion. They should hear what some of their music today was most likely inspired by.

  • matiasherreralopez
    11/16/2014 - 09:22 p.m.

    Lady Gaga and Tony Bennet have released their new jazz album. Refered to the work done by the couple, they said it was more than just a collaboration, their idea is to invite children to listen jazz, the real pop music of the United States.
    Every country has its own manner of developing the culture inside it. It is the reason why people listen some kind of music, why people do certain things, and why people develope their life how they do it. In the American case, it is worldwide known that pop music is the anthem, but is so important what Lady Gaga said, because she knows and she considers jazz, a classic music as the real pop. It is important to let children know how to be near to the real culture which envolves them. In this case, they are promoting jazz, which is a beatiful kind of music, the one that combines a lot of things that children could take advantage of. Besides, it is known that music is good for a lot of things, and help people to overcome a lot of problems.

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