An essential Johnny Hartman CD
Hoc Stercus | Hudson, NY USA | 08/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I got the first version of this CD when it was released back in the eighties. I can scarcely believe the transformation that has taken place in this digitally remastered version. The sonics are so clear and clean I can hardly believe my ears. This recording was made in 1956 when Mr. Hartman was in the early stages of his career. Some reviews I've read over the years label this production an quintessential Hartman. One thing's for sure. There's probably not a professional male singer around that would not willing trade their voice for his. What a rich bass-baritone. And what a gift for phrasing and getting to the heart of the lyrics. To be honest, some of the tracks with strings for backup seem somewhat dated now. But if you want to hear the standard that all vocalists should strive for, then get this CD. I'm glad I did."
Fine under-appreciated singer at his peak...
William E. Adams | Midland, Texas USA | 02/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Johnny Hartman is more than competent, always pleasant to hear, whether on slow stuff or lightly swinging numbers. This CD is actually more fun than his famous collaboration with John Coltrane on the Impulse label. That one is a half-hour of romantic ballads, perfect in its own way. This comes out at 51 minutes (due to four alternate takes of earlier numbers) and mixes the mellow and the uptempo quite nicely. Johnny never won mass attention in his lifetime, but musicians knew he had the goods, and in recent years, the discerning jazz and pop fans have been able to hear him at his best, thanks to reissues such as this one. If you like good jazz singing, check him out. To my ears, he is as good, or better, than Joe Williams, who was his contempory, and who is also worth hearing."