The first four tracks on this all-star album are not only great fun, they’re also rather daring. The best comes first, as Bennett and Lady Gaga camp their way through “The Lady Is a Tramp.” They’re both in on the joke, and it becomes the rare intergenerational performance that exudes playfulness and sexuality at the same time. You can imagine “One for My Baby (And One More for the Road”) as the same nightclub 4 hours later, as Bennett and John Mayer bond over both having struck out. “Body and Soul” is the album’s David Lynch moment, a duet with Amy Winehouse that oozes mutual obsession (and, yes, reminds you what a loss was Winehouse, who sounds remarkably Dinah Washington-like). And then there’s a delicious “Blue Velvet,” where Bennett and k.d. lang lust over the same woman. The other 13 tracks are more standard versions of standards; Aretha Franklin and Sheryl Crow are in especially good voice, but nobody throws any real curves to match that opening stretch.
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