Top positive review
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Sublime. Colossal. All but perfect.
on 16 December 1999
Usually quite judicious in my praise, I must start nonetheless by saying that this is one of the greatest jazz albums of all time (truly among the ranks of, if you're curious as to my frame of reference, Brubeck's "Time Out," Ella's 'Mack the Knife' Berlin concert, Trane's "My Favorite Things," Miles' "Kind of Blue," and "Porgy and Bess," Sonny Rollins' "Saxophone Colossus," and perhaps Bill Evans' "Conversations with Myself"). Obscure and almost unknown up through his death and for several years thereafter, Johnny Hartman's music has been discovered by many in an upswing which.. probably can be traced to the use of several of his tracks in the otherwise forgettable film version of "Bridges of Madison County." On Hartman's other recordings, it seems as if his producers could not decide whether he was the next Nat King Cole or was a jazz balladeer. This is where he belongs. His luscious, resonant bass (let's not kid ourselves, Hartman's got more of what it takes than a mere baritone) is, on this record, particularly skillful and tremendously expressive. Coltrane, likewise is wonderfully restrained for a point so far along in his career, and McCoy Tyner and the rest provide a splendid backdrop.