surrounds himself with another top-shelf cast of
collaborators on Thanks for the Memory...The Great
American Songbook: Volume IV, his fourth album of
standards. Due October 18 via J Records, the set is
highlighted by duets with Elton John ("Makin'
Whoopee"), Chaka Khan ("You Send Me"), and Diana Ross
("I've Got a Crush on You"). Among the instrumentalists
lending their talents to "Thanks for the Memory" are
trumpeters Roy Hargrove ("My One and Only Love") and
Chris Botti ("I Wish You Love"), guitarist George
Benson ("Let's Fall in Love"), and saxophonist Dave
Koz ("Nevertheless [I'm in Love With You]").
Stewart has also
recorded Irving Berlin's "I've Got My Love to Keep Me
Warm" and "Blue Skies," Rodgers & Hart's "My Funny
Valentine," Vernon Duke's "Taking a Chance on Love," Jerome
Kern's "Long Ago & Far Away," and the title track,
popularized by Bob Hope. Even though he told
Billboard something similar after Volume II,
Stewart promises the new set "will be the last
[standards album] for now.” Afterward, J will on
November 15 box up all four releases under the banner
The Great American Songbook. To date, the
first three albums have sold a combined 6.9 million
copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Having recovered from recent shoulder surgery, Stewart will
return to live performance with seven U.K. shows in
December, beginning December 7 in Newcastle, England.
(Jonathan Cohen, via Reuters)