Posted September, 2010
We’ve all read stories of relationships between celebrities and their kids. Sadly, too many of those stories are dripping with tales of abuse and dysfunctional relationships between parent and child. Equally as sad, we learn that this tragic cycle repeats itself in the adult lives of the children. We pretty much just come to expect that all celebrity kids are just a jacked up mess.
I don’t know about those of you reading this piece, but I always find it refreshing to be proven wrong when it comes to those assumptions. Because of the people that I’ve been fortunate enough to interview, I’ve slowly but surely begun to change my preconceived notions about kids of celebrities.
Case in point: my recent opportunity to chat with Antonia Bennett, the lovely and very talented daughter of jazz icon, Tony Bennett. The youngest of four children, Antonia has worked and studied hard to follow a similar but different career path Mr. Bennett.
Musically schooled at Berkley as well as trained in acting and dance at the Strasburg Institute, Antonia has the weapons in her arsenal to be the consummate performer. As for presence, her natural beauty and sense of presence and delivery are attributes one could understandably assume she inherited from her gifted father. That is likely true to a great extent. However, I would argue that Ms. Bennett has worked and studied hard to perfect her art.
Either way, Antonia has delivered a great debut EP of pure jazz artistry. Entitled Natural, it’s a six song, multi-genre treat featuring such diverse classics as, Puttin’ On The Ritz, B.B. King’s, The Thrill Is Gone, to Pat Benatar’s, Love Is A Battlefield, which, coincidentally, was written by Natural’s producer, Holly Knight.
Grammy nominated pianist and arranger, Larry Goldings (and who has also worked with Norah Jones, John Mayer, Al Jarreau, David Sanborn and James Taylor) skillfully arranged the tunes. With this triple threat of talent and experience, it’s no mystery why Natural is a superb debut offering.
It was the subject of this talented powerhouse that fed the content of my first question as to what brought Antonia, Holly and Larry together for this project.
“Larry, he crosses both worlds. He understands popular music and he really understands Jazz and traditional music, too. That’s important to me because I grew up listening to everything. Larry and I met many years ago. An A&R guy named Steve Ferrera - at the time he was with Blue Note Records and Angel Records, and is now all over the place, doing everything from American Idol and a lot of other things. He’s a pretty big A&R guy now.
“Anyway, he introduced me to this producer, Russ Titleman. Russ had heard me sing and thought I would be perfect for a duet with Tom Wopat on his record, In The Still of the Night. That’s when I met Larry – many, many years ago in New York, when I was living there. He now lives in L.A. with his wife so, when I came back out to L.A., I said that,
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