Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop, R&B, Rock, Broadway & Vocalists
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Great music, should have been MUCH more...
Bret W | Utah, USA | 03/31/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For fans, this double disc will be an essential collection, since NOTHING of Johnny's Mercury output is currently in print, and because every cut on here is pristine, timeless 'Mathis'. His voice is powerful and supple, and his powers of interpretation are unmatchable. BUT (and this is a strong complaint) this collection should have been so much more. There are only twelve cuts on each CD, and these days, for a double disc set, that's very skimpy -- especially when Johnny released *nine* albums during his Mercury stint (meaning some albums are represented by only one song). And one more gripe: the slim liner notes sound like the author isn't a fan of Johnny's kind of romantic music; (he pokes fun at the album titles, what's up with that?) I still highly recommend this because of the great sound quality and superb singing, but I WANT MORE!"
Mathis Taking Control!
L. J. Allen | Atlanta, GA United States | 01/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
THE GLOBAL MASTERS represents Mathis' brief departure from Columbia Records to the Mercury label from 1963 to 1966. It was during this brief stint that Mathis created Global Records as his own production company that granted him-among other things-greater creative control. He would continue his artistic control when he returned to Columbia Records in 1966 with the creation of Jon Mat Records, Inc. which exists to this day (See the fine print on your late 1960s-2000s Mathis LPs/CDs.) As this CD compilation proves, Mathis was in splendid form. During his Mercury years his timbre and phrasing showed signs of an increased maturity and confidence that foreshadowed the "Legendary Vocalist Status" he would earn by the 1970s.
Featuring three previously unreleased songs, namely "After the Storm", "Hello, Dolly!", and "Manhattan", he ably demonstrates his remarkable ability to leave his signature on Broadway/Show Tunes as if they had been written exclusively for him. A particularly fine example is his sensual reading of Streisand's show stopper "The Music That Makes Me Dance" from the Broadway Musical "Funny Girl". He also demonstrates his unique phrasing on the slowed tempo of the Allyn Ferguson arranged "Danny Boy"; his mournful and bold interpretation of the Irish anthem simultaneously renders a completely new version of this classic while sacrificing none of its original melody-An underrated chestnut previously released on the LP "The Sweetheart Tree" (Mercury SR 61041/MG 21041, 1965).
This CD compilation offers a wide and diverse roster of some of Mathis' best recorded works during the 1960s. Yet with the exception of "Granada" it almost completely excluded one of Mathis' more atypical works, namely his brilliant Spanish & Portuguese interpretations on the LP "Ol" (Mercury SR 60988/MG 20988, 1965). A remastering of Mathis' second recording* and vibrantly Afro-Cuban version of the classic "Babalu" would have been a welcome addition to this set. (*Another version of "Babalu" appears on his first LP "Johnny Mathis: A New Sound in Popular Song" on Columbia CL 887/CS 8897, 1956-CD CK 64890.) Also missing from this compilation are the songs from his Glenn Osser orchestrated LP "Love Is Everything" (Mercury SR 60991/MG 20991, 1965).-Anyone that has heard Mathis' yearning interpretation of the Jay Evans/Jay Livingston masterpiece "Never Let Me Go" would gladly welcome its inclusion on this CD set. Unfortunately there are no songs from the rather overlooked "Love Is Everything" LP included here.
Mathis has often commented that there are many songs that he recorded that he thought were wonderful, but Columbia Records had/has not found them commercially worthy enough to release on LP or CD. Yet THE GLOBAL MASTERS is one of the better Mathis compilations primarily because it offers a taste of one of his most musically eclectic periods. This CD compilation is a MUST-HAVE if only because one gets to hear a sizeable portion of his splendid Global/Mercury recordings remastered with much improved sound quality.
For Mathis afficionados-that includes this reviewer-THE GLOBAL MASTERS could have completely sated our appetites for CD versions of Mathis' Mercury years. The only problem is, one cannot help but wonder exactly which tone-deaf Columbia Records' executive is sitting on or ignoring some of his best recorded work, including those recordings we have yet to hear. So sit back, enjoy, and pray for someone with taste and common sense to get hold of the keys to Columbia's vaults!!"
Mathis At His Peak
William A. Brimmer Jr. | CT | 04/01/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Johnny Mathis recorded his most serious and adventurous music during his 4 year stint at Mercury. He is at the top of his vocal talent in this 2 CD set which sadly only touches the surface of the albums he recorded for this label. But be that as it may, if you grew up listening to Mathis as I did,or even if you didn't, this set is an absolute must."