Friday Night Jazz: Johnny Hartman

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

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  1. howard commented on Apr 6

    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.

  2. REW commented on Apr 6

    Thank God for Friday Night Jazz, the only post of the week in which Barry has something positive to say.

  3. Damian commented on Apr 7

    One of my favorites – the voice that can melt even the coldest heart.

  4. dave commented on Apr 8

    Johnny Hartman singing “My One And Only Love” Perfection!

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