TONY BENNETT

Around 1969, BS&T, along with a number of other Columbia recording artists, were invited to perform at a Columbia Records Convention in Puerto Rico. One evening while there, a few of us from BS&T had dinner with a gracious Tony Bennett. He had recently signed with CBS. Later, Bobby Colomby (our drummer) had the idea for BS&T to do an album with Tony. The thought of that possible collaboration inspired me and I began charting out some ideas for Tony and the band on "My Ship", an old standard tune. I don’t remember if I ever played or spoke about my musical ideas for this tune to any BS&T members, but I believed that my chart had ‘commercial’ possibilities. But we never did record with Tony or even present the idea to him, as far as I know. So I lived with the basic chart in my head for over 34 years. When Tony became ‘hot’ with MTV, I tried to contact him him a couple of times, to let him know about my musical concept (arrangement) for "My Ship", but I never got a reply.

In 2004, I called his pianist / musical director, Lee Musica, whom I had jammed with once outside of Boston. He was friendly and open to me sending my arrangement ideas for him to look over. But a moment later in our conversation, he informed me that he had already written an arrangement for "My Ship", which Tony was using when performing with orchestras. When I heard this, I decided to let go, forever, of my dream of having Tony Bennett sing that tune with my chart! When I ‘let go’, I actually felt good about it!

Then life took another turn... Circumstances came up that led me to record a new CD: “Pure Classics”, on which, I included "My Ship". I played the melody on alto and finally used some of my original arrangement ideas. Listening back to it, I’m quite satisfied with the new direction that "My Ship" has sailed!

Listen to "My Ship"


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