Maestro and I enjoyed watching "Tony Bennett: Duets II" on KSPS the other day. Well, he watched, I worked and listened. I've always enjoyed Tony Bennett's music and have been meaning to buy "Duets" and "Duets II".
There were so many great performances but this one stood out: Tony Bennett's duet with Lady Gaga. They sang the Rodgers-Hart classic "The Lady is a Tramp". Tony was in fine form (as expected). However, it was Lady Gaga who took me by surprise.I think this was a case where Malcolm Gladwell's Blink logic came to play. I look at Lady Gaga and expect a certain sound, based on what she's wearing. I was expecting a strong pop performance, coupled with an outrageous outfit.
In this case, my eyes were staring at my computer monitor. When I heard Lady Gaga's opening notes, I was floored. I didn't expect her to scat and groove with Tony like she's been singing like that. Her tone, her style, her ease and sense of fun in this number completely took me by surprise.
I got to appreciate her performance for what it was: fresh, fun and polished. Then I looked up and saw the turquoise hair and that elegant dress, which matched the heart of this song to a tee.
Good. Had I looked at her first and then heard her, I would have the image of her wearing that raw meat outfit stuck in my brain. My stomach would have roiled and I would not have enjoyed her performance quite so much.