Personnel: Johnny Hartman (vocals); Gerald Wilson, Oliver Nelson (conductor); Anthony Ortega, Gabe Baltazar (alto saxophone); Bill Green, Plas Johnson, Harold Land, Teddy Edwards, Curtis Amy (tenor saxophone); Jack Nimitz, Bill Hood (baritone saxophone); Jules Chaikin, Freddie Hill, Melvin Moore, Bud Brisbois, Al Porcino, Ollie Mitchell, Conte Condoli (trumpet); Mike Barone, John Ewing, Lester Robertson, Ernie Tack, Billy Byers (trombone); Vinny Gill, Wilbert Nuttycomb, Jerome Reisler, John Vidusich, Betty Marks, Leonard Malarsky, George Poole, Daryl Terwilliger (violin); Samuel Boghossian, Alvin Rinkin (viola); Joseph Ditullio, Emmet Sargeant (cello); Mike Melvoin (piano); Herb Ellis, John Gray, Dennis Budimer, Howard Roberts (guitar); Jimmy Bond, Ray Brown, Joe Mondragon (bass); Stan Levey, Shelly Manne (drums); James Lockert (percussion).
Reissue producers: Michael Cuscuna, Will Friedwald.
Recorded in Los Angeles, California between February 15, 1966 and September 28, 1966. Originally released as UNFORGETTABLE SONGS BY JOHNNY HARTMAN on ABC-Paramount (574) and I LOVE EVERYBODY on ABC-Paramount (576). Includes liner notes by Will Friedwald.
UNFORGETTABLE includes previously unreleased tracks.
From the first swinging cadences of "Almost Like Being In Love"--as the singer's lush virile baritone soars above Gerald Wilson's fat, brassy big-band chart--it's clear that producer Bob Thiele was pulling out all stops to establish Johnny Hartman as a vocal icon (a la Frank Sinatra, Billy Eckstine and Nat "King" Cole). But for all the obvious signposts and inspirations, the main impression listeners will take away from UNFORGETTABLE is what a singular, original stylist Johnny Hartman was.
Listen to how the trombones complement Hartman's smoky baritone on "The More I See You." Even when he's attacking a pop-styled chart such as "What Do I Owe Her," Hartman's phrasing is pleasingly horn-like; yet he manages to convey a subtle feel for the beat without descending into ostentatious techical displays. On "Down In The Depths" he displays a real flair for Broadway-styled theatrical flourishes; and on ornate arrangements of "Fools Rush In" and "The Very Thought Of You," Hartman demonstrates a natural aptitude for the big romantic statement--in the manner of popular crooners of the day, such as Tony Bennett.