Collection: 1947-1972

by: Johnny Hartman

Just where Johnny Hartman's name ends up in the pantheon of great jazzy pop singers is still left open to debate. But his talents and mastery of a lyric come to the fore on this marvelous two-CD set of tunes cherry-picked from his long, if not particularly prolific, career, leaving no doubt about his prodigious talents. Hartman went through label affiliations like some folks go through underwear, and this 38-track overview samples his best for RCA Victor, Regent, Bethlehem, Mercury, Jubilee, ABC-Paramount, Roost, Impulse! and the Japanese branch of Capitol, beginning in 1947 and winding up in 1972. Marvelous one-off singles proliferate throughout Collection: 1947-1972, providing sparkling performances with Dizzy Gillespie & His Orchestra ("I Should Care"), Pérez Prado Orchestra ("Wild") and versions of "The World Was Mine" and "I See Your Face Before Me" (featuring Howard McGhee) well-worth the price of admission. Other highlights include his work with jazz giants like John Coltrane ("My One and Only Love," "Lush Life"), Hank Jones, Kenny Burrell ("In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning") and Illinois Jacquet ("Don't You Know I Care") and two 1996 string-section dates that produce stellar readings of "The Very Thought of You," "Unforgettable," "If I Had You," "As You Desire Me," "When I Get the Time" and "I Cover the Waterfront." An artist of immeasurable talent certainly deserving of a wider audience. ~ Cub Koda

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