Personnel includes: Johnny Hartman (vocals); Rudy Traylor (conductor); Jimmy Carroll (alto saxophone); Budd Johnson, John Coltrane, Illinois Jacquet (tenor saxophone); Bernie Glow, Terumasa Hino (trumpet); Tyree Glenn (trombone, vibraphone); Bobby Tucker, Erroll Garner, Ralph Sharon, McCoy Tyner, Hank Jones, Mikio Masuda (piano); Carmen Mastren, Kenny Burrell (guitar); Ray Brown, Leonard Gaskin, Jimmy Garrison, Milt Hinton, Richard Davis, Yoshio Ikeda (bass); Cozy Cole, Elvin Jones, Osie Johnson, Motohiko Hino (drums); Dizzy Gillespie & His Orchestra, Jimmy Carroll's Orchestra, Norman Leydon Orchestra & Choir, Perez Prado Orchestra, Howard Biggs Orchestra & Choir, Ernie Wilkins Orchestra, Frank Hunter Orchestra.
Compilation producers: Will Friedwald, Andy McKaie.
Recorded between 1947 and 1972. Includes liner notes by Will Friedwald.
Digitally remastered by Erik Labson (MCA Music Media Studios, North Hollywood, California).
Personnel: Dennis Budimer, Herb Ellis, S. Malone, Art Ryerson, Kenny Burrell, Tommy Tedesco , Barry Galbraith, Carmen Mastren (guitar); Jerome Reisler, Wilbert Nuttycombe, Darrel Terwilliger, George Poole, James Getzoff, John Vidusich, Harry Melnikoff, Erno Neufeld, Earl Cornwell, Betty Marks, M. Weiser, Maurice Hershaft, Leonard Malarsky, Marshall Sosson, Vince Gill, Victor Arno, Arnold Belnick, Raoul Poliakin (violin); George Grossman, CPL. Henry Brynan, Gareth "Garry" Nuttycombe, Alvin Rinkin, Samuel Boghossian (viola); James Forman (cello, piano); Harold Schnier, Joseph Ditullio, Harold Schneier, Anne Goodman (cello); Jerome Richardson (flute, tenor saxophone); Anthony Ortega (alto saxophone, tenor saxophone); John Brown , Ernie Henry, George Furman, Jimmy Caroll Orchestra with Strings (alto saxophone); Curtis Amy, Bud Johnson, Harold Land, Joe d'Addario, Illinois Jacquet, Joe Gayles, John Coltrane, Lucky Thompson, Teddy Edwards, Yusef Lateef (tenor saxophone); Danny Bank, Jack Nimitz, Al Gibson (baritone saxophone); Chris Griffin , Joe Ferrante , Mickey McMickle, Dizzy Gillespie, Ernie Royal, Jules Chaikin, Fred Hill, Ruby Weinstein, Jack Mootz, Howard McGhee, Mike Shain, Al Porcino, Melvin Moore, Roger Mozian, Taft Jordan, Terumasa Hino , Benny Harris , Bernie Glow, Willie Cook, Elmon Wright, Jimmy Nottingham, Al DeRisi, Bud Brisbois, Bernie Privin (trumpet); Tyree Glenn (trombone, vibraphone); Irv Dinkin, Henry Singer, Frank Rehak, Jesse Tarrant, Mike Barone, Sam Hurt , John Ewing , Claude Jones, Ernie Tack, Lester Robertson (trombone); Dave Grusin (piano, keyboards); Masahiko Kikuchi, Erroll Garner, Dennis Vaughan, Hank Jones , Sanford Gold, McCoy Tyner, Michael Melvoin, Mikio Masuda, Ralph Sharon, Billy Taylor , Bobby Tucker (piano); Paul Ricci, Eddie Barefield, Art Drelinger, Joe "Cornbread" Thomas , Murray Williams, Sid Cooper, Romeo Penque, Hymie Schertzer, Milt Yaner (synthesizer); Melvin Pollan (bass guitar); Norris "Bunny" Shawker (drums, bongos); Alvin Stoller (drums, percussion); Cozy Cole, Elvin Jones, Charles Smith, Sonny Rivera, Christy Febbo, Hiroshi Murakami, Kansas Fields, Motohiko Hino, Osie Johnson, Stan Levey, Teddy Stewart, Terry Snyder (drums); Mongo Santamaria, Sabu Martinez (congas); Martin Grupp, Chano Pozo (bongos); Paquito Sosa (maracas).
Recording information: Chicago, IL (12/??/1947-11/29/1972); Los Angeles, CA (12/??/1947-11/29/1972); New York, NY (12/??/1947-11/29/1972); Nj (12/??/1947-11/29/1972); Tokyo, Japan (12/??/1947-11/29/1972).
Ensemble: John Coltrane Quartet.
Photographer: Chuck Stewart.
Arrangers: James Mundy; Jack Pleis; Danny Mendelsohn; Frank Hunter.
This is the first career-length retrospective of Johnny Hartman, the late, exquisite jazz baritone who has enjoyed a posthumous resurgence since director Clint Eastwood featured his recordings in Bridges of Madison County. Here we finally have a chance to hear some of Hartman's earliest recordings, some with Dizzy Gillespie, Perez Prado and Erroll Garner. Hartman had a reputation as a Billy Eckstine imitator early in his career, but a close listen to 1947 tracks like "Why Was I Born?" and "Close Your Eyes" reveals an altogether different approach--much softer in timbre, somewhat like a black Perry Como(!)
Hartman seems to have sung best with small jazz combos, as on "I See Your Face Before Me" from the excellent 1956 SONGS FROM THE HEART, with trumpeter Howard McGhee, and of course, the classic 1963 collaboration JOHN COLTRANE & JOHNNY HARTMAN. Only "My One And Only Love" and a definitive "Lush Life" are included from that magical session. But tasty versions of "In The Wee Small Hours," "Stairway To The Stars" and other numbers culled from the superior Impulse albums Hartman recorded soon after the Coltrane sessions compensate nicely for any omission.