Stories » Tony Bennett at the Ravinia Festival wasn't merely historic / Chicago Tribune

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Tony Bennett at the Ravinia Festival wasn't merely historic / Chicago Tribune

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What we heard and saw Saturday night at the Ravinia Festival wasn't merely historic. For if 92-year-old Tony Bennett simply had made his way through roughly two dozen songs, he would have earned another spot in the record books. How many nonagenarian jazz singers, after all, can perform such a feat of control, stamina and memory?

But it was the depth of Bennett's insights, the breadth of his expressive range and the delicious idiosyncrasies of his interpretations - with its abundant alternative notes and operatic flourishes - that rendered this performance a tour de force. Even factoring out the matter of age, Bennett reminded listeners why his career continually seems to expand: for the durability of his art, though impressive, ultimately is overshadowed by its profundity, which keeps listeners coming back for more.

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