The Ralph Sharon Trio, Music For The Late Hours: The Tony Bennett Song Book
The name Ralph Sharon only meant something to me when I heard the MTV Unplugged album by Tony Bennett. Bennett even says, as part of his act, that Sharon has been a dedicated accompanist, the pianist on so many of the classic recordings that Tony Bennett offered, Sharon has been something of a custodian and curator; a compiler of The Tony Bennett Song Book – and a contributor, as writer, arranger and player. This album is something of a curio – I guess I’ve had it for a few years, bought for a few bucks. I see online that it’s a rare record with a price tag of $129 on one listing (that might be wishful) and there doesn’t appear to be any information about when the album was released. It’s nowhere on the sleeve or the LP; can’t seem to find anything much to clarify its release from a quick Google. My copy also has a sticker on it saying For Demonstration Use Only Not For Sale but that probably just means it was – at the time – a review copy. Anyway, it’s instrumental versions of the songs that Bennett still pumps out to this day (I Left My Heart In San Francisco, One For My Baby, The Good Life – that sort of thing…) and it’s a lovely wee set of piano trio jazz tunes. I wonder if I’m sitting on a valuable record? (Well best not sit on it if it’s valuable; it might break!) It must have been an easy album to put together at the time (whenever that was) – essentially it’s just the band rehearsing its repertoire. Too easy. Sharon is still working with Bennett; well he was until very recently anyway. He’s British-born. And is 88 years young.
The Vinyl Countdown is a document of every LP I listen to, brand new discoveries and old-old favourites; extremely pre-loved, previously abandoned or with the shrink-wrap having just been removed it’s all here at The Vinyl Countdown