On a hot summer day in New York last year, Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett recorded a flirty cover of Rodgers and Hart’s “The Lady is a Tramp” for Bennett’s 2011 Duets II LP, and Gaga was so nervous, she downed whiskey throughout the day. “Did all the girls used to have to get drunk to hang out with you?” Gaga asked. “You’re such a dreamboat!”
The unlikely duo will reprise their chemistry on an entire new album, Bennett tells Rolling Stone. “Of all things, she called me from New Zealand and said, ‘I want to do a jazz album with you,'” Bennett, 86, said in an interview where he also discussed his upcoming Viva Duets album, out on October 23rd. “And I said, ‘You got it!’ So that’s one of the things we’re gonna do.”
“We’re gonna do a jazz album with Marion Evans, a big swing band, and I’m looking forward to it because a lot of people don’t know it, but she’s a phenomenal jazz singer,” Bennett says, adding the record will consist entirely of songs from the catalog of a mystery songwriter. “I can’t mention the composer because I don’t want anybody to do it before we do it, but there’s a great composer that’s very underrated, very famous, but not as famous as Gershwin or Porter. But he did as many hit songs as anybody, and so we’re gonna do a big swinging album.”
When will sessions happen? “As soon as I can,” says Bennett.
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Asked if he sees himself performing with Gaga soon, Bennett says, “Let’s see what happens. She’s a good friend and I respect that she’s so creative, that every day she changes, she has so many ideas and carries them out. She just never stops with it. I call her the musical Picasso. Her energy is just phenomenal.”