The full title is They Say It’s Wonderful, written in 1946 by Irving Berlin, and since then covered by more or less every crooner living and dead. The version I want to write about is off the awesome John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman, recorded in 1963. I have read more than one critic claiming that this is the best album ever recorded. I’m not sure I’d go that far, but it really is very very good music indeed.

John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman

Picking just one song off it is tough, because they’re all so great. There’s sort of a formula; Hartman glides through an old standard, making his huge baritone float and dance, while Coltrane and McCoy Tyner (who should be on the cover) hang golden ornaments on the walls of the song.

I’m picking Wonderful because it’s a little lighter and a little and more direct than some of the songs. At the other end of the spectrum is Lush Life, which is difficult and indirect and sad and monumental. You could do worse than just sit down and either put on or stream the album, end to end.

This is part of the Song of the Day series (background).

Links · Spotify playlist. This tune on Amazon, Spotify, iTunes. Here are a couple of extras: Johnny Hartman sings Lush Life,and Bob Dylan does My One and Only Love (no, really).


author · Dad · software · colophon · rights

May 08, 2018
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