Friday Night Jazz: Johnny Hartman

Friday, April 06, 2007 | 07:25 PM

I_just_dropped_by_to_say_hello I previously mentioned Johnny Hartman in passing (in the Joe Williams post some time back) -- but Hartman deserves his own FNJ post:

Harman's voice is deep, dark and rich, his sense of pitch superb, his diction outstanding. If you want a mellifluous, honey-toned baritone, there is none better.

He was a crooner on par with Sinatra (if not better); indeed, Hartman may very well have been the greatest jazz balladeer of all time.

John_coltrane_johnny_hartmanHis best known work was the superb John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman - a beautiful, must own jazz classic -- but in the same year (1963), he also released I Just Dropped by to Say Hello, with Illinois Jacquet as his sideman.

It is an overlooked masterpiece.

There's a terrific NPR Jazz Profile of  Johnny Hartman that is well worth exploring -- definitely check out Murray Horowitz and A.B. Spellman discussing the John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman album.

bonus trivia: Clint Eastwood (a jazz aficionado) used 4 of Hartman's songs in the soundtrack to The Bridges of Madison County -- Hartman became more popular after his death than he was when he was alive.

This was the only youtube video I could find -- the second song (Nobody Home) is more of a showcase for his voice:


I also have to check out Johnny Hartman - The Voice That Is -- looks pretty interesting

Friday, April 06, 2007 | 07:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) add to | digg digg this! | technorati add to technorati | email email this post



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barry, all i can say to this one is that you are right: johnny hartman is a master and a monster, and both the CDs you recommend are first-raters.

Posted by: howard | Apr 6, 2007 7:38:42 PM

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