Cheek To Cheek features classic jazz standards sung by Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett in a combination of vocal duets and solo performances. Each song was handpicked by the artists, and the album features classic selections from the Great American Songbook including "Anything Goes," "It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)," "Sophisticated Lady," "Lush Life," and the record's title track, "Cheek To Cheek." Recorded in New York City, the record took over a year to complete and features jazz musicians associated with both artists including members of Bennett's quartet, Mike Renzi, Gray Sargent, Harold Jones and Marshall Wood as well pianist Tom Lanier. Jazz trumpeter Brian Newman, a long-time friend and colleague of Lady Gaga appears on the album as well with his NYC based jazz quintet. Jazz soloists on selected tracks include tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano and flutist Paul Horn, who passed away earlier this month.
Of this new project Lady Gaga commented, "Cheek To Cheek came out of a very organic friendship and relationship that Tony and I have built over the years and it truly was a collaborative effort. It was important to Tony that this was a jazz record. I've been singing jazz since I was a child and really wanted to show the authentic side of the genre. We made an album of jazz classics, but it has a modern twist."
"I have been singing the Great American Songbook my entire career and all along forging abridge between pop and jazz music. Creating this album with Lady Gaga has been a beautiful experience as she is a fantastic singer and I am hoping that all her fans will embrace this music and swing along with it," said Tony Bennett.
Photographer Steven Klein contributed the photographs and spearheaded the artistic design for the album packaging as well as for the first official image released from Cheek To Cheek, which is featured on the "Anything Goes" cover art.
Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga first met backstage in 2011 after the two performed at the Robin Hood Foundation gala in New York City and Bennett asked Lady Gaga to sing a duet with him on his DUETS II album that he was beginning to record. "The Lady is A Tramp" was the result of that endeavor and conversations began about collaborating on a jazz project. Recently, Bennett and Gaga surprised the student body at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, a NYC public arts high school founded by Tony Bennett, when they spoke and performed for the school on the last day of classes in June. Earlier this month, Gaga surprised the Montreal Jazz Festival audience by joining Bennett on stage when he was performing at the famed jazz festival. Last night, they taped a television special that will air on PBS later this fall. The two appeared this morning on the TODAY SHOW to official announce CHEEK TO CHEEK.