In Person! is a 1959 album by Tony Bennett, accompanied by the Count Basie Orchestra.
The album was originally intended to be a live recording of a November 1958 performance at Philadelphia’s Latin Casino, but the mono recording of the concert was disregarded by producer Al Ham who wanted the album recorded in stereo. Bennett and Basie were then reunited in the studio a month later to recreate the live concert. Fake applause was dubbed onto the original release of “In Person!” by Ham, and placed in incorrect places on the album. The effect was poorly received and removed for the album’s 1994 re-issue. In his autobiography, The Good Life, Bennett wrote that “I never understood why we didn’t release the live version. The whole attempt at fabricating an audience was in bad taste” and that as a result of the experience he had always preferred the second album he recorded with Basie that year, Strike Up the Band.
Basie and Bennett recorded two albums together in 1959; “In Person!” was released by Bennett’s record label, Columbia, and “Strike Up the Band” was released by Basie’s label, Roulette (Wikipedia).
AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder:
In Person!, part of a series of 1958 collaborations between Tony Bennett and Count Basie, has an unusually convoluted history. Bennett and Basie appeared together at the Latin Casino in Philadelphia in late November of 1958 in a performance that was recorded for commercial release — but when that tape proved unusable for technical reasons, producer Mitch Miller decided to bring the singer and the band back together in the studio in a pair of sessions a month later to re-create the concert program. For the original LP release, the producers also dubbed on applause, seeking to fake the ambience of an actual live performance, hence the title of the album. But the fake was obvious to all concerned, and when the album was re-released in 1994 as part of Sony Music’s Mastersound series of audiophile CDs, the makers went back to the original session tapes and left off the applause. The result is a state-of-the-art reissue of what was also, as near as one can tell, the first of Bennett’s albums to get a stereo release. As this was also the first reissue the album had apparently ever received, the tapes were in impeccable condition — the result is an extraordinary listening experience, even 40-plus years later. The original album, even with the tampering at the time, had a healthy swing to it, courtesy of the Basie band, and with the richness of tone and the close sound available to the makers of the CD, the album works even better. Bennett’s sensitively nuanced intonation in the opening of “Pennies from Heaven” is now up close and personal, while the band’s beat in the second half of the song is now crisper and more solid than ever. Ralph Sharon, Bennett’s usual accompanist, is handling the piano chores (while Basie himself is credited as leader), and his finely articulated playing is also brought out crisply on “Lost in the Stars” and other tracks. It’s all worth hearing, and more often than just once — it was records like this, as reconstituted properly for CD, that constituted the absolute golden end of the pop legacy of the late ’50s.
“Just in Time” (Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Jule Styne) – 1:45
“When I Fall in Love” (Edward Heyman, Victor Young) – 2:20
“Taking a Chance on Love” (Vernon Duke, Ted Fetter, John La Touche) – 1:57
“Without a Song” (Edward Eliscu, Billy Rose, Vincent Youmans) – 3:06
“Fascinating Rhythm” (Gershwin, Ira Gershwin) – 1:30
“(In My) Solitude” (Eddie DeLange, Duke Ellington, Irving Mills) – 3:35
“Pennies from Heaven” (Johnny Burke, Arthur Johnston) – 2:33
“Lost in the Stars” (Maxwell Anderson, Kurt Weill) – 4:01
“Firefly” (Cy Coleman, Carolyn Leigh) – 1:39
“There Will Never Be Another You” (Mack Gordon, Harry Warren) – 3:16
“Lullaby of Broadway” (Al Dubin, Warren) – 3:13
“Ol’ Man River” (Oscar Hammerstein II, Jerome Kern) – 5:00
Tony Bennett – vocals
The Count Basie Orchestra:
Thad Jones, Joe Newman, Snooky Young, Wendell Culley – trumpet
Henry Coker, Benny Powell, Al Grey – trombone
Marshal Royal – alto sax, clarinet
Frank Wess – alto and tenor saxes, flute
Frank Foster – tenor sax, flute
Billy Mitchell – tenor sax, clarinet
Charlie Fowlkes – baritone sax, flute, bass clarinet
Freddie Green – electric guitar
Ralph Sharon – piano, arranger
Eddie Jones – double bass
Candido Camero – bongos
Sonny Payne – drums