This story has nothing to do with the guitar.
It is about my very most favorite Jazz vocal recording ever.
It is: “Lush Life” by vocalist Johnny Hartman and the John Coltrane Quartet.
When I learned, thanks to my good friend and colleague, Charlie Jennison, (a fabulous Jazz musician in his own right), that today was the anniversary of Johnny Hartman’s birthday, I knew that I simply had to write this post.
Johnny Hartman was born on July 13, 1923 in Chicago, Illinois.
He started singing in high school with his school’s jazz orchestra.
On March 7, 1963, Johnny recorded an album for Impuse Records with John Coltrane and his now-classic quartet: John on tenor saxophone, McCoy Tyner on piano, Jimmy Garrison on bass and Elvin Jones on drums.
The album was released later that year as: “John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman”
The first song on the second side was the Billy Strayhorn ballad “Lush Life.”
This recording of this song by these musicians is, in my how-humble-can-you-be-if-you-have-a-blog opinion, one of the most devastatingly gorgeous pieces of music ever. Period.
Listen to it.
It is five minutes and thirty seconds of shear beauty, start to finish.
Yes? Wasn’t I right?
Johnny Hartman passed away on September 15, 1983.