Although I’ve written a number of pieces about crooners, I don’t think I’ve ever covered one quite like Johnny Hartman. He would certainly qualify as a crooner of the first rank, but he just might be more remembered for his collaborations with a musical legend, saxophonist John Coltrane.
The Chicago-born Hartman first began drawing attention from music fans in the post-war years, singing for bands led by Earl Hines and Dizzy Gillespie. Within a few years he’d managed to build a solo career, and by the mid-1950s he was generating some solid-selling records, but real stardom eluded him.
His big breakout occurred in the early 1960s with his collaboration with Coltrane, a collection of familiar ballads like “My One And Only Love” and “Lush Life” that showcased both performers. Coltrane was already headed for legendary status at that time, but the success of the pairing would enable Hartman to forge a solid solo career for the two decades leading up to his death in 1983.
John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman – “My One And Only Love”
3 thoughts on “Johnny Hartman – Crooning With Coltrane”
What a fantastic album this is. I bought a vinyl copy in the sixties, admittedly based on Coltrane’s name. I had no idea who Johnny Hartman was at the time, I was expecting an instrumental album. However, after an initial disappointment I came to appreciate just what a fine singer Johnny was.
It was a classic album.
I wish I could have found a better video of him, but for whatever reason there just aren’t that many around.
Thanks for writing, Peter.
He did an NPR special in N. Carolina with Dinah Shore that must be around. I have been looking for it for years.Compare the great Sinatra with Hartman`s ” I See Your Face Before Me” that he did in the 50s for Bethlehem and then in the 70s in Japan. Hartman was king.