Local jazz artists recreate iconic vocal album

Fifty years ago, two musical giants, saxophonist John Coltrane and ballad singer Johnny Hartman went into the studios to record one of the greatest jazz vocal albums ever.

To celebrate this iconic record, a very special gig is being lined up at the Strand Arts Centre in Belfast on December 15.

Simply called ‘John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman’ this legendary compilation is being recreated by the amazing vocals of Ken Haddock, and the wonderful playing of saxophone player Meilana Gillard, pianist Scott Flanigan, drummer Steve Davis and bassist Nicky Scott.

The concert will feature all the tracks from this classic romantic album including ‘My One and Only Love’, ‘Lush Life’, ‘They Say It’s Wonderful’ and ‘You Are Too Beautiful’.

It’s the perfect way to spend a relaxing Sunday in the run up to Christmas.

Velvety-voiced Hartman was primarily considered to be a pop, ballad singer and was initially hesitant about recording with one of the world’s leading jazz saxophonists.

But the album’s producer Bob Thiele persuaded him to go and see Coltrane perform at Birdland in New York to see if something could be worked out. Hartman did so and after the club closed he, Coltrane and Coltrane’s pianist McCoy Tyner went over some songs together.

On March 7, 1963 Coltrane and Hartman had decided on ten songs for the record album but en route to the studio they heard Nat King Cole on the radio performing Billy Strayhorn’s ‘Lush Life’ and Hartman immediately decided that song had to be included in their album. The album was recorded that same day at the Van Gelder Studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

Ken Haddock is just beginning to sing in the jazz idiom but possesses a similarly wonderful rich, honeyed baritone and has been asked by Meilana and Scott to recreate the Hartman role.

Meilana Gillard is the perfect player to recreate the lush, softer side of the great tenor sax player John Coltrane. She has played with some of New York’s finest musicians and her style can go seamlessly from tough muscularity to tender romance

For more information go to strandartscentre.ticketsolve.com
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Post Author: Belfast Times

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