The clarinetist Tony Scott, who trod the same musical path as Billie Holiday and Charlie Parker, once called the number "Lush Life" »the Mount Everest of jazz soloists«: thousands have stood at the foot of the mountain but only a couple of dozen ever made it right to the top. Among these few were the singer Johnny Hartman and the John Coltrane Quartet in March 1963 - not just with this title but with other favourites too. The list extends from "They Say It’s Wonderful" which sounds as though it is clad in black silk, to the lyrical "My One And Only Love", right up to the light-footed rumba "Autumn Serenade"; here are six true masterpieces which will get right under your skin. Just listen to how relaxed and self-assuredly the crooner’s great voice carries the melody, which is then taken up and continued by John Coltrane on his instrument. John’s ballad LP and his work with Duke Ellington had already demonstrated that he was a master of slow tempi and in the present LP he once again paces slowly down this path.
His master Billy Eckstine stood godfather to this production which was directed by Bob Thiele and the keen ears of Rudy Van Gelder. However, Johnny Hartman was no longer a pupil but an absolutely first-class musician himself. That’s why they let him tackle the ‘Mount Everest number’, "Lush Life". The five musicians climb nimbly to the summit and prove on the way that each and every one of them, singer and instrumentalists alike, has found his very own, unique voice.