John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman: My One and Only Love


My One and Only Love


John Coltrane (tenor sax) and Johnny Hartman (vocals)


John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman (Impulse GRD-157)

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John Coltrane (tenor sax), Johnny Hartman (vocals), McCoy Tyner (piano), Jimmy Garrison (bass), Elvin Jones (drums).

Composed by Guy Wood & Robert Mellin


Recorded: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, March 7, 1963


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

Early 1963 marked a tumultuous time in the U.S., especially in Alabama. First, new Governor George Wallace seized the moral low ground, vowing: "Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!" Then sit-ins began in Birmingham, culminating in Martin Luther King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail" and Sheriff Bull Connor siccing police dogs on demonstrators. Amidst this turbulence, Coltrane & Hartman's 5-minute ballad of "sweet surrender" became an island of sanity in a deranged sea. It was a refuge that Coltrane himself would soon abandon, but for one brief moment the stillness, "like an April breeze on the wings of spring," was a welcome respite. So it remains.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

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