Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Johnny Hartman:Remembering The Jazz Giants: Chapter 7

Johnny Hartman
If you like pure, soft sensitive jazz singing combined with a straight forward honest expression of great lyrics, then you need not look any further than to Johnny Hartman. Johnny Hartman was without a doubt one of the greatest singers of his time. Sadly, he was not widely known; and, therefore, never got the proper public recognition for his magnificiant deep and silky voice and his unique approach to the lyrics of some of the greatest American songs ever written. When asked about his approach to a song, Hartman said, "Well to me a lyric is a story, almost like talking or telling someone a story, try to make it believable".  

Many American music lovers first got to know Johnny Hartman as a result of Clint Eastwood's "Bridges of Madison County" in 1995.  Eastwood, a serious jazz lover himself, used 7 Johnny Hartman songs in the movie that added perfectly to the emotional love story Eastwood was painting on the big screen.

There are lots of Johnny Hartman CDs still available today, but if I was limited to only one, it would be the "John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman" CD.  I recently posted a blog entitled, "The top 10 CDs that need to be on your bucket list, and I overlooked this gem.  It belongs on that list also.  If you are not familiar with Johnny Hartman, I have a real treat for you below.  I found two songs on "Youtube" from the Coltrane/Hartman CD that are just sensational! The first is "My One and Only Love" and the second is in my opinion the best recording of the Billy Stryhorn classic "Lush Life".  The combination of Stryhorn, Coltrane and Hartman is as good as music gets! 

                                                        "My One And Only Love"

                                                                  "Lush Life"

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