Johnny Letman (1917-1992) was a trumpeter and singer in the traditional- mainstream vein, who had been on the scene for quite a long time, playing with such bandleaders as Lucky Millinder and Cab Calloway, before rising to prominence in the late 50s. But his lack of recognition (on records, at least) had not been—like the fate of some other mainstreamers—a matter of simply being forgotten. Letman never was known to any extent until 1958, when he started working out of the Metropole in New York City.
His big, fat, walloping trumpet style drew from the Louis Armstrong-Roy Eldridge line, whereas his attack ranged from the crisply crackling to the exuberantly flamboyant. The high quality of this set is established by the outgoing musical personalities of Letman and pianist Dick Wellstood, as well as by guitarist Kenny Burrell’s willingness and ability to match their extroversion note for note.
01. Mabel's Dream (Ike Smith) 4:30
02. Tina (Dick Wellstood) 4:21
03. This Time the Drinks' on Me (Johnny Letman) 2:25
04. The Room Upstairs (Letman-Wellstood) 3:39
05. Moanin' Low (Rainger-Dietz) 3:05
06. Violets & Violins (Laparcerie-Lawrence) 4:18
07. Say Si Si (Lecuona-Stillman) 4:24
08. Sittin' Alone Countin' My Tears (Leonard Feather) 4:20
09. Get Out of My Sight (Palmer Hedges) 2:43
10. The Four Faces of Johnny (Johnny Letman) 8:27
11. Tasty (Johnny Letman) 3:12
12. Goodnight Irene (Ledbetter-Lomax) 4:16
13. Oh, How I Miss You Tonight (Burke-Davis) 2:46
Tracks #1-9, from “The Many Angles of Johnny Letman” (Bethlehem BCP 6053)
Tracks #10-13, from “Cascade of Quartets, Vol.1 & Vol. 2”
(Columbia 33SX 1191 and 33SX 1218)
Personnel on #1-9:
Johnny Letman Quintet
Johnny Letman, trumpet & vocals (#3, 8, 9); Kenny Burrell, guitar; Dick Wellstood, piano; Peck Morrison, bass; Panama Francis, drums.
Recorded in New York City, June 10, 1960
Personnel on #10-13:
Johnny Letman Quartet
Johnny Letman, trumpet & vocals (#12-13); Dick Wellstood, piano; Gene Ramey, bass; Panama Francis, drums.
Recorded in New York City, March 8, 1959
New liner notes written by Jordi Pujol
Original Bethlehem back liner notes: Ira Gitler
Recordings produced by Teddy Charles (#1-10) and Stanley Dance (#11-13)
This CD compilation produced by Jordi Pujol
Stereo · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered
Blue Moon Producciones Discograficas S.L.