Saturday, May 6, 2017

Johnny Smith - My Dear Little Sweetheart

When Mosaic records released the Royal Roost boxed set of Johnny Smith, several of the recordings were not used as Mosaic only issued the small group recordings. My Dear Little Sweetheart was one of them. It has at last been reissued on CD. This is a record that has little so called “jazz”. It does have something else going for it however. It has beautiful music. Nine wonderful standards and Johnny’s own composition, “My Dear Little Sweetheart”. The arrangements are all by Johnny with full string section (twelve violins, two cellos, and two violas), as well as bass and drums. Johnny’s own song, “My Dear Little Sweetheart” was recorded by Sarah Vaughan in 1960. This is a highly emotional recording with Johnny sounding at times like a viola or cello. The inner voicings in the string section are an indication of the depth of how Johnny Smith can hear the subtlety of the harmony. This is a rare achievement. The lush orchestrations are very touching and dreamy. Who else can play a triad and make it sound so right ? The intonation and execution are perfect. All those strings and everyone is in tune! Not easily done I can tell you.
When I reviewed the Mosaic boxed set of Johnny Smith, I mentioned that no one interprets tunes like Johnny. This recording will certainly verify that.
This is a must recording if you’re a Johnny Smith fan. (Who isn’t ?)
To quote Bud Katzel who wrote the liner notes : “For Johnny Smith who has etched here a once in a lifetime performance, this is an album he will always consider and recall as one of his finest, if not his finest.”
I don’t think it can be said any better...
Jack Wilkins

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Johnny Smith
My Dear Little Sweetheart


1 My Dear Little Sweetheart (Smith)  3:40
2 Indian Summer (Herbert)  3:50
3 Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise (Romberg)  3:07
4 All The Things You Are (Kern, Hammerstein)  4:17
5 It's So Peaceful In The Country (Wilder)  3:40
6 Once In A While (Edwards, Green) 
7 Flamingo (Grouya, Anderson)  3:25
8 Spring Is Here (Rodgers, Hart)  3:00
9 Violets For Her Furs (Adair, Dennis)  3:47
10 It Never Entered My Mind (Rodgers, Hart)  3:52


Johnny Smith - g
Unknown String section
Gene Orloff - Concertmaster - vl [1st vl]
Irwin Kostal - cond.

Recorded 1960 ?
One of the most obscure Johnny Smith albums for Roost — and one of the most striking, too ! The album takes the sound of Johnny's guitar and backs it with some larger arrangements from Irwin Kostal — very mellow, and very string-laden — with a dreamy late nite quality that's even moodier than that of Johnny's small combo records. There's an eerie mood to the set that really grabs us, and which seems to deepen even more on repeated listenings (probably enhanced by the painting of a child on the cover — as you'd expect a lady from the "sweetheart" title !)...
© 1996-2017, Dusty Groove, Inc.

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Melanchthon said...

Anonymous said...

This one looks fantastic, will listen to it with my ace violinist daughter, thanks a lot MM!

Jazz Padd said...

Thanks, one of my fav guitarists, very underrated.

Anonymous said...

My oh my! Its another Johnny Smith weekend coming up

Thank you kindly for great post!

deGallo said...

Marvelously fantastical! Thank you!!!

peskypesky said...

Thank you. I don't know the music of Johnny Smith, so this will be my introduction to his work.

Starchild said...

Many thanks Mel!

Pet said...

Thanks for this rarity, at last I get to hear it..!

Pet said...

Well, I couldn't get the DL to work, but then found the album on Spotify. :D Cheers

bhowani bhowani said...

Thank you, Mel !

Fred Archtop said...

thanks a lot Mel.

Kovina Kris said...

Great album and great post!

Scoredaddy said...

VERY excited to hear this! thanks so much