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Johnny HARTMAN – I Just Dropped By To Say Hello 1963

Posted in JAZZ, Johnny HARTMAN on November 19, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Johnny HARTMAN – I Just Dropped By To Say Hello 1963
1987 Issue.


Over the years, Johnny Hartman had worked with big bands and small combos, interpreting everything …    Full Descriptionfrom romantic pop to elegant jazz–without achieving the star status his talent so richly deserved. So behind all the debonair trappings of I JUST DROPPED BY TO SAY HELLO, one can detect a certain world weariness.

Which only adds to the after-hours mystique that makes I JUST DROPPED BY TO SAY HELLO one of the great jazz vocal recitals. Everything clicks–from the cat-like brushwork of Elvin Jones and the lyric refinement of brother Hank Jones, to the rock-solid bass-lines of Milt Hinton and the bluesy romantic machismo of tenor giant Illinois Jacquet. Hartman’s accompanists aren’t simply hired hands–they’re a band. Just listen to Jacquet’s epic testimony on “Stairway To The Stars,” guitarist Jim Hall’s probing counterpoint on “Charade,” or the Jones brothers’ brilliant coda to the title tune–the group rapport is telepathic.

Hartman intones silky phrases over a montundo groove on Henry Mancini’s “Charade,” moving to easy swing paraphrases in the bridge, and descending into his deepest register, twisting suggestively at the final syllables. Where Sinatra’s classic “In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning” is a study in pathos, Hartman mines the tune for its sweet vein of romanticism. The title tune and “Stairway To The Stars” illustrate Hartman’s gifts for balladry and theatrical gestures, as he moves easily between his upper and lower registers, between cool recitatives and smooth phrasing, minus the glib, corny vibrato of too many faux romantics. Here, Hartman shows he is the genuine article.
Johnny Hartman may have been the greatest of the jazz balladeers, his unmistakably rich voice and subtle sense of pitch and diction developing the art of Billy Eckstine and Arthur Prysock. Most know his work only in the superb 1963 collaboration with John Coltrane, but this CD from the same year is as fine a showcase for Hartman’s abilities, both on medium swing tunes and the romantic standards that were his forte. The accompaniment is at the highest level, with Hank Jones on piano and brother Elvin on drums, and appearances by the two subtlest guitarists of the era, Jim Hall and Kenny Burrell, embellishing Hartman’s cashmerelike voice. The burred sound of Illinois Jacquet’s tenor, reminiscent of Ben Webster on ballads, is a fine, grainy complement to Hartman’s smooth baritone.
By Stuart Broomer.
The second Impulse! session for ballad singer Johnny Hartman followed his classic collaboration with John Coltrane. Hartman is heard in peak form throughout these 11 pieces, which include “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning,” “Sleepin’ Bee,” “Stairway to the Stars,” and even “Charade.” Tenor saxophonist Illinois Jacquet is on five of the songs, guitarists Kenny Burrell and Jim Hall help out on a few tunes, and Hartman is consistently accompanied by pianist Hank Jones, bassist Milt Hinton, and drummer Elvin Jones. This is one of his finest recordings.
By Scott Yanow, All Music Guide.
Johnny Hartman- Vocals
Kenny Burrell- Guitar
Hank Jones- Piano
Jim Hall- Guitar
Illinois Jacquet- Tenor Sax
Milt Hinton- Bass
Elvin Jones- Drums
01. Charade 2:35
02. In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning 2:45
03. Sleepin’ Bee 2:11
04. Don’t You Know I Care (Or Don’t You Care I Know) 4:10
05. Kiss & Run 3:33
06. If I’m Lucky 2:50
07. I Just Dropped By To Say Hello 4:05
08. Stairway To The Stars 3:05
09. Our Time 2:58
10. Don’t Call It Love 2:05
11. How Sweet It Is To Be In Love 2:19

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