“Nature Boy,” another track off Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett‘s upcoming duets album, Cheek to Cheek, finds the pop star crooning sublimely about a “very strange, enchanted boy” around flutes and orchestral strings, before the elder vocalist complements her with his own account of meeting the song’s titular character. It presents a loungier take on the singers’ collaboration, due out September 22nd, following their take on Cole Porter’s upbeat “Anything Goes” and spry rendition of “I Can’t Give You Anything but Love.”
“‘Nature Boy’ was composed in 1941 by eden ahbez, a wandering man from Brooklyn with long hair,” Gaga wrote of the song in a series of tweets. “It wasn’t until 1947 that the song was published, written sometime during or after 1941, while pianist ahbez wandered [Los Angeles] eating only raw fruits. It’s just so interesting. This composer was part of a subculture of nomadic hippies! We channelled our own Gypsy lives in this performance.
“It was recorded first by Nat King Cole in 1947,” she continued. “You will recognize it also famously as used in Moulin Rouge, but our rendition with the now late multi-reedist Paul Horn is spectacular. Horn was meant to join Tony and me for the PBS special but sadly passed just weeks before. [He was] a new-age jazz pioneer. Let’s celebrate him today. You will hear his genius in the flute solo of our ‘Nature Boy,’ a solo that will echo through the world today. And forever.”
The PBS special, which captured the singer’s performance at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theatre in July, will air on October 24th. Additionally, another Gaga-Bennett special, which will offer a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the record, aired on HSN earlier this week.