One of the greatest pairings in jazz history was vocalist Johnny Hartman with saxophonist John Coltrane. The memory of their 1963 collaboration lives on with a tribute album by contemporary jazz singer Kurt Elling.
When John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman teamed up to record Coltrane's first vocal album as a leader, the session couldn't have gone any smoother. The tracks were recorded in one take, except for "You Are Too Beautiful" which needed a second take after drummer Elvin Jones dropped a drum stick.
More than 45 years later, Kurt Elling has re-created the album in its entirety, including the jazz standard "My One And Only Love."
Kurt Elling, a veteran of the Chicago jazz scene for decades, was inspired by Coltrane and Hartman's elegance and spontaneity. He points out that they recorded together just one week after meeting for the first time. There was very little rehearsal, and they went into the studio without formal musical arrangements.
Elling first performed his tribute to John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman at the Chicago Jazz Festival, followed by successful shows at Carnegie Hall and the Monterey Jazz Festival. His album, Dedicated To You: Kurt Elling Sings The Music Of Coltrane and Hartman, was recorded before a live audience at New York's Lincoln Center as part of their American Songbook series.
Elling is basking in the warm reception for his new release, as well as favorable reviews in Downbeat Magazine's 57th Annual Critics Poll. For the tenth consecutive year, he was named the Poll's top Male Vocalist of The Year.
On the album "Dedicated To You," Elling is joined by tenor saxophonist Ernie Watts on "Autumn Serenade."