A sorely underrated, magical ballad stylist, Johnny Hartman possessed a superb delivery and sound, had remarkable enunication and such a rich, evocative voice it's hard to understand why he wasn't a bigger star. He was subtle, yet swinging on uptempo tunes and commanding on slow numbers. Hartman sang with his high school jazz orchestra in Chicago, later attended Chicago Musical College, then began his professional career, only to have it interrupted by military service. After his discharge, Hartman worked with Earl Hines, Dizzy Gillespie and Erroll Garner in the late '40s, then became a soloist. He worked in clubs and on television as well as recording for Savoy in the late '40s and Bethlehem in the mid-'50s. The 1963 Impulse album John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman electrified people in and out of jazz and remains an endearing session. Hartman sang and recorded in Tokyo with Roland Hanna and George Mraz during the '70s and received a Grammy nomination for the early '80s album Once In Every Life. While he covered everything from standards to pop and country, Hartman's forte was jazz-based compositions and romantic ballads. He recorded for Savoy, Audiophile, Bethlehem, Impulse, Perception, Trio, and Bee Hive. Hartman currently has some sessions available on CD.