Another year has ended; another list has been compiled. Often I get this feeling that in 100 years, all that will remain of today’s pop culture will be a number of well-thought-out lists. While many critics are driven to paroxysms at the thought of another year-end list, the fact is that they are essential to annual retrospective analysis. There is a feeling of security and consistency in ‘Best Of’ lists; inasmuch as one can feel safe in the presence of a numerically-ordered selection of things. But in truth, the rapid acceleration of technology and the advent of social media has completely changed the way humans organize their internal thoughts. We no longer think in prose, or even full sentences; we think in lists.
Amy Winehouse’s life was tragically cut short when she was found dead in July of 2011. The talented singer had one of those distinct and evocative voices that conveys the pain, vulnerability, and sorrow that seems inherent to the best blues/jazz singers. In the capable and loving hands of producers Salaam Remi and Mark Ronson, a posthumous album of Winehouse’s work has now been released entitled Lioness: Hidden Treasures. But it should be noted that there are only two original tracks and the other songs include alternate versions of singles and plenty of notable covers.
Following her tragic passing on July 23, 2011, some of the producers and musicians who worked closely with 5 time Grammy Award winning artist Amy Winehouse, among them Salaam Remi and Mark Ronson, spent time listening over the many recordings that Amy had made, before, during, and after the release of albums Frank and Back To Black. It was said by all who worked with Amy that she never sang or played a song the same way twice. It quickly became apparent to both Salaam and Mark that they had a collection of songs that deserved to be heard, a collection of songs that were a fitting testament to Amy the artist and, as importantly, Amy their friend.
The track and video for the long awaited Amy Winehouse and Tony Bennett duet “Body and Soul” premiered in its entirety today to commemorate what would have been Amy’s 28th birthday. “Body and Soul” was recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London and is the final recording she ever made before her passing on July 23rd. The recording session was filmed by Oscar winning cinematographer Dion Beebe (“Chicago,” “Memoirs Of A Geisha”) as part of a large documentary film on Bennett that is in the works.