Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
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"subtle, swinging and commanding"
J. Lovins | Missouri-USA | 04/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The great Johnny Hartman's career began in 1947 and recording his way through numbers of record labels virtually until his passing in 1983. One of the greatest interpreters of love songs that ever lived, he had the gift of making you feel every word. Hartman was an early disciple of Sinatra, but making each song his own, as in - "LUSH LIFE" (with John Coltrane), it's torchy and sad but not despondent, not suicidal. Same way with - "IN THE WEE SMALL HOURS, Hartman wasn't influenced by the way Sinatra sang it, just took on a different meaning when Hartman did it. Where does Johnny Hartman rate in the line-up of Jazz and popular singers of our time? Just take a listen to this 2-CD-Set Hip-O Records has released, definitely a vocalist with the style and mastery that cannot be denied with pure talent.A few highlights - "DON'T YOU KNOW I CARE" (Duke Ellington/Mack David) not heard that much, this ballad is truly catchy and mind-lingering - "MY SHIP" (Ira Gershwin/Kurt Weill) beautiful song co-written by the composer who gave us "Mack the Knife", from "The Threepenny Opera".He was subtle, yet swinging on uptempo tunes and commanding on slow numbers. Hartman possessed a superb delivery and sound, had remarkable enunciation with a rich tone, which brings us to the question, "Why was this artist so under-rated and not as popular as the Sinatra's, Martin's and Como's"? But thanks to Hip-O, we can enjoy 38 tracks from various labels during his 25 professional year career.Hip-O Records - HIPD2 40137 (1998)/ 59:31 ON 21 Tracks(Disco One)/60:22 on 17 Tracks(Disc Two)"
Best Male Jazz Singer
J. Lovins | 11/06/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The late Johnny Hartmann is probably the most underrated jazz singer of all times. His warm, smooth baritone, brings to life all of the standards in a way that will leave you asking for more. Technique, phrasing, style --it is all perfect. As far as I am concerned he's much better than his far better known baritone contemporaries Billy Eckstein (too much vibrato), and even Joe Williams. As a singer in general I rate him ahead of just about every other male vocalist, including Sinatra."
Great overview of an outstanding singer
Anton Garcia Fernandez | Nashville, TN | 11/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Johnny Hartman was, no doubt, one of the most versatile singers of the twentieth century, a man whose warm, deep voice made him feel at home singing a varied range of songs, from pop to jazz to show tunes. He started out as a crooner in the late forties, somewhat influenced by Billy Eckstine but always with a style all his own, and his outstanding career ended in 1983, when he succumbed to lung cancer. In between those two dates, his highly personal voice was heard on stages all over the world, from the States to England to Australia to Japan, where he even recorded a couple of albums backed by Japanese sidemen.
Hartman's recorded legacy is one of the relatively unknown treasures of our time. Although he recorded for several labels over the years, in my opinion, his best work was done for Impulse Records in the early sixties, including an album with the legendary tenor saxophonist John Coltrane. Entitled simply "John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman" and released originally in 1963, it remains a masterpiece that everyone should own and cherish. Two songs from that album appear on this fantastic compilation, which is undoubtedly the most complete introduction to Hartman's work to date, featuring recordings that span 25 years, from 1947 to 1972.
Throughout the 38 tracks contained herein, we can hear how Hartman succeeds in singing very different types of songs with diverse kinds of accompaniment, making all songs his own. We can also witness Hartman's stylistic development, from his early years as a crooner up into his later efforts as a jazz singer - and one of the very best the world has ever known. If you don't own any other CDs by Hartman, then this is definitely where you should start to delve into his music. I am sure it will not be too long before you find yourself looking for other superb titles such as "I Just Dropped in to Say Hello," "The Voice That Is!," or his great collaboration with Coltrane."