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

The Grammy Award 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 some of 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, like Bennett, grew up in New York. 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." It 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," he said, because he learned not to compromise on quality.

"And now," he said, "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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  • Eugene0808-YYCA
    9/25/2014 - 03:19 p.m.

    I never knew Lady Gaga sang jazz music before she got into Auto Tune and electronic beats. I think kids should get to know more jazz music instead of getting into Auto Tune because they would have a taste of what music was in the old days before Auto Tune was possible. If it is possible, then kids would get more into jazz music and it would be more popular than ever.
    Critical Thinking Challenge: Why does collaboration have a better chance of introducing jazz to kids? What does Lady Gaga add to the equation?
    Answer: The collaboration have a better chance of introducing jazz to kids because they would show kids what jazz is really like and there would be a celebrity performing for them. Lady Gaga adds more focus and attention to the music.

  • JasonW-1
    9/25/2014 - 07:29 p.m.

    Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett collaborated to make a Jazz album. It's called "Cheek to Cheek". Gaga says she prefers this to her heavily auto-tuned pop. She is trying to get kids to listen to Jazz. Whether they are being sincere or just trying to advertise is unknown. I definitely enjoy this more than her awful pop. It's surprisingly good. When I first read the article I was skeptical, but since i enjoy Jazz so I decided to try listening to it. It's not the best, it works.

  • Hannahmab-3
    9/25/2014 - 11:55 p.m.

    Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett are releasing their new jazz album Tuesday. They have been working on the album for two years. The album incorporates jazz music and American hits. Songs such as Duke Ellington's "Sophisticated Lady", Cole Porter's "Anything Goes", and Billy Strayhorn's "Lush Life." Bennett and Gaga's album "Check to Check" is made to show us kids what jazz really is, a timeless part of American music, The album was made to show off all the qualities jazz has to offer. Gaga who started singing jazz at age thirteen says "Jazz is more of a part of who I am." Gaga said that they amp up her popular songs to have techno beat that appeases the audience she has. Bennett who had his first hit in 1951 joined the American Theater Wing after he was in World War 2 and says" It was the best thing I ever did." He says his choice paid off and was the right decision for him. Gaga and Bennett really want this album to change the way music is looked at and appreciated. They collaborated on the song "The Lady Is a Tramp" in 2011 which featured on Bennett's album that sold millions of copies. They both hope the album will be a hit.

    I enjoy music a lot. I play multiple instruments that are a main key in jazz music. I play the alto saxophone which features in a lot of jazz music. I also listen to lots of types of music. Old songs are a special favorite of mine; James Brown, Otis Redding, Mervin Gaye and many others are some examples. Although most of these songs aren't considered jazz they have elements of jazz in them. My brother played in the jazz band at Mira Costa and I think I might too. Music is an integral part of my life. I listen to music when i do my homework, when i get ready when I work ,when I read , and pretty much whenever I can. Music is such an important part of who I am and i think having a pop star work with a more classic musician to create a jazz album will create an all around good album. I can't wait to hear the album when I can.

  • JesseE-2
    9/26/2014 - 12:24 a.m.

    Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, two well-known singers from different generations, are collaborating to create a jazz album. The album will be supposedly oriented towards a younger audience, and the singers into to use it as a window for children and the current generation to listen to more jazz and jazz fusion music. The album, called "Cheek to Cheek", will feature covers of famous jazz standards that include vocal parts. Lady Gaga has stated that jazz is a more natural musical environment for her, and Bennett has held long-term success in the genre and its abundant derivatives. The album is also intended to bring a greater musical appreciation to the music of the twentieth century to the current generation.

    Being an active jazz listener and jazz bassist, this article appeals to me in both subject and intention. Jazz, jazz fusion, and progressive rock are all derivatives of (if not) jazz and are the genres I usually play, so the topic truly spoke to me, as I agree wholly with Gaga and Bennett. The article itself was well-structured and cleanly explained the topic at hand.

  • SoleilE-5
    9/26/2014 - 12:56 a.m.

    For two years, Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett have been working on their album of jazz covers, "Cheek to Cheek." Now, that album is being released. The duo also won a Grammy last year for a cover of "The Lady is a Tramp." This is so shocking for many of Gaga's fans because they are used to a very electronic sound and pop music from her. However, Lady Gaga feels like this change in genre is a new kind of rebellion for her. Bennett and Gaga both hope her young fan base will take the album as a chance to learn a little about jazz, in essence, where pop music came from.
    I personally think that "Cheek to Cheek" is a great idea for an album. Jazz music is dying off with the majority of teens. By having a popular pop singer and teen interest sing jazz, it will likely get the younger generation to better appreciate the roots of their precious pop music. The fact that the duet single with Bennett and Gaga sold over 1 million copies gives hope that "Cheek to Cheek" will do well. Personally, I am very interested in the sound of the album to see if Gaga could easily adapt to not being auto tuned. Before I saw this article, however, I had never even heard of the album. I wonder if its sales and popularity will increase.

  • DunhamS-4
    9/26/2014 - 10:19 a.m.

    This article was about International superstar Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett collaborating to make a new jazz album 'Cheek to Cheek'. The album features covered songs by Gaga and Bennett. Gaga said she was trying to break away from her electronic. auto tuned pop music for a while and educate today's generation about jazz. Gaga first broke onto the scene with no. 1 pop hits like 'Just Dance', 'Poker Face', 'Bad Romance', 'Telephone', 'Alejandro', and 'Paparazzi'. Now she is trying to get in touch with her roots. jazz. I found this article very informative as I had no idea that pop sensation Lady Gaga would make a jazz album. In my opinion, I think it's great she is trying to branch out.

  • MackenzieR-Moo
    9/26/2014 - 12:22 p.m.

    I think people should at least listen to Gaga and Bennett's music. You have to try to listen before you say I don't like it. I will hear their music sometime soon.

  • MadisonW-Moo
    9/26/2014 - 03:25 p.m.

    This collaboration has a better chance of introducing Jazz to kids because Lady Gaga was on the Kids choice awards the Teen choice awards and many other award shows. So, the younger audience knows who she is so she would easily be able to get the message out there.

  • cheyennec-Koc
    9/28/2014 - 12:09 p.m.

    I think it would be good for this generation to hear real jazz music. It's a lot better than majority of songs now and has true meaning behind it and actually had a fun sound to it.

  • AlexaZ-1
    9/28/2014 - 10:50 p.m.

    Eighty-eight year old Tony Bennett recently collaborated with twenty-eight year old Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, otherwise known as Lady Gaga, to create a jazz album full of covers from some of the most amazing jazz artists the world has and will ever see. They want to awaken the new generations from electronic-pop music and introduce them to an old favorite, jazz. I think that Stefani and Tony are very sharp-witted to feel the need to let children know about this amazing music that was so popular for such long time but was overcome by rap, pop, and electronic music. I am elated that somebody is trying to knock some sense into young generations because a lot of music that is currently popular is worse than nails on a chalk board.

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