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John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman Original recording remastered

4.8 out of 5 stars 233 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

JOHN COLTRANE AND JOHNNY HARTMAN
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 10, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Impulse
  • ASIN: B0018RWD6S
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (233 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,113 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By douglas barton on November 17, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I've been sitting here reading fellow Amazon reviewers take on "John Coltrane and Johhny Hartman" and I've noticed a trend that I find discomforting....if not exactly true as well. But I'll soon get to that. First, I think a little background is needed to fully understand where this cd is at, musically speaking of course.
When approached to do an "album" with a singer Cotrane's first, and I suspect only response, was Johnny Hartman. Hartman was close to being a complete unknown in a field where he so obviously excelled and Coltrane, while recording two albums of ballads previous to this record, "Ballads" and "Duke Ellington and John Coltrane" was still attempting to facillitate a style that reached the outer boundaries of the restrictive nature of popular song. That being the case they entered the studio and preceded to record a classic...in every sense of the word.
Now,unlike other reviewer's comments about Coltrane being subjected to the role of "sideman" to Johnny Hartman's vocals this, I feel, simply misses the point of what this cd is about. Coltrane's tenor, I feel, is actually the "second voice" on this fine disc. The interaction between voice and musical instrument will always be debated as how to best draw a "focal point" where each can draw inspiration from the other and I feel that this is as close as I've ever heard to having those two seperate entities actually realizing that one precise point where vocals and intrumentation blend together in perfect unison . A perfect blending of two "instruments". Obviously a listener's attention will always turn toward the vocal aspect of any piece of music due to it's simply being recorded at the front end of any song. And being Johnny Hartman how could you not pay close attention!
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By A Customer on November 27, 1998
Format: Audio CD
Simply put this has to be one of my favorite Cd's. Mere words can't express how well the combination of the John Coltrane Quartet sound and Johnny Hartman sounds. From 'They say it's wonderful' to 'Autumn serenade' all of the tracks are excellent to say the least. Johnny Hartman has one of the smoothest barritone singing voices I've ever heard. Listining to his voice on 'Lush life'(especially) gives me the chills. (I'd argue that their cover of that song is the best ever). This paired up with the already legendary sound of the John coltrane quartet makes this album not a must have but an essential for any coltrane fan. If you are even thinkg about buying this CD you've given it too much thought, BUY IT NOW! You wont regret it.
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Format: Audio CD
John Coltrane is one of the most inventive and innovative jazz musicians of all time, but he very well may be at his best with his work on these six simple ballads. By employing Johnny Hartman as the vocalist, Mr. Coltrane's tenor sax perfectly meshes with Mr. Hartman's deep, rich baritone voice. Mr. Hartman's voice is so sweet and mellow it practically drips out of your speakers. The songs are all arranged in a simple and understated manor and that adds to their elegance. Mr. Coltrane plays in smooth yet forceful tones that turn simple riffs into majestic sounds. McCoy Tyner provides the backbone of the album with his piano playing. He fills the holes with pretty tinkling of the ivories. The band is at their peak on the opening track "They Say It's Wonderful" that opens with a 2 minute solo by Mr. Coltrane and then drops Mr. Hartman's silky dulcitones on you. It doesn't get any more romantic than right here.
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Format: Audio CD
I'm satisfied with the sound of the "Originals" digipak reissue of this classic (the one in a cardboard folder with an orange and black strip on the left side of the cover, with the word "ORIGINALS" on it) but fans of the album should know that this version may be different from the one to which you're accustomed.

After the session with Hartman, Coltrane returned to the studio to overdub some extra saxophone on several of these songs. The songs that received the extra saxophone were "My One and Only Love", "Lush Life," and "You Are Too Beautiful." As with ASCENSION, two versions of this album were released - one with the overdubs, and one without.

The Originals version does _not_ contain these overdubs. For example, the Originals version of "You Are Too Beautiful" features _no saxophone at all_; Hartman is accompanied by Tyner, Garrison, and Jones only.

I actually prefer this unadorned version of the album for its plainer, more spacious sound; the well-known version is spoilt by too much reverb. But some listeners will miss the familiar sax ornamentation on three crucial tracks. Perhaps more importantly though, this version of the album is NOT the one preferred by Coltrane himself.

The commonly-available CD version in a jewel case offers the version Coltrane approved.

[Edited to correct a mistaken song attribution]
2 Comments 31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
With this CD, originally recorded in 1963, a triad of ballad albums by Coltrane was complete. This completes a series of ballad albums that were preceded by "Ballads" and "Duke Ellington and John Coltrane" all excellent in theiir own right. Of the three this is the furthest departure for Coltrane as it is more of a Hartman CD. Make no doubt that Coltrane is featured but he accentuates and compliments the velvety voice of Hartman rather than dominating the overall sound. With the exception of "Autumn Serenade", where Coltrane stretches the limits slightly, Hartman is the star and Coltrane is the featured sideman. The "voice" of Coltrane echoes in soft and suttle refrain, mimicking and adding texture to the crooning of the Billy Eckstine-esque Johnny Hartman. When Coltrane takes over he refrains from overpowering but rather creates beautiful interludes. All of the songs are superb and fine examples of ballads from another era. They almost sound corny but the inherent beauty is something that must be taken seriously as it is heartfelt and rapturous. The vocal stylings are simply top notch. If I had to pick one song that is a standout it would be "Lush Life," which Trane previously recorded, but it is unlike this vocal version. The soft sax that eventually takes it's turn is a double-timed repitition of the lyrics previously crooned by Hartman and swings gently but energetically. Buy this for a change of pace on your CD player. It is only six songs and definitely old school. If your not able to keep a fire lit with these torch songs you might want to see a doctor. Recommended for people who feel romanticism never goes out of style.
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