Olé (Johnny Mathis album)
|Studio album by Johnny Mathis|
|Johnny Mathis chronology|
Of the many studio albums of Mathis, this is undoubtedly his most unusual, a collection of Latin American songs sung in the original languages. The album shows his gift for language as well as his courage as an artist to experiment with material outside his known style and repertoire. Also, the inclusion of classical music on this album is a testament to Mathis' talent and technique.
The album features arrangements by Allyn Ferguson who served as Mathis' musical director at the time while the orchestra was conducted by Jack Feierman.
- "Granada" - 3:11
- "Without You (Tres Palabras)" - 2:45
- "Medley: Genrique/Felicidade" - 4:20
- "Manhã de Carnaval (Morning of the Carnival)" - 3:12
- "Samba de Orfeu" - 2:23
- "La Montaña" - 3:35
- "Babalu" - 2:45
- "Serenata" - 3:37
- "Bachianas Brasileiras, Pt. 1-3" - 7:01
Billboard Album Chart
To this point, Mathis had enjoyed an incredibly successful run of hit albums with 25 consecutive entries on the Billboard album chart. This album was his first since 1957 not to place on the chart.
For Olé, Mathis chose a selection of Latin American music that ranges from popular songs, film music and light classical songs. "Serenata" with English lyrics had been a hit for Sarah Vaughan while "Babalu" was a signature song for Desi Arnaz who often performed it on the "I Love Lucy" television series.
A notable film from 1959, "Orfeu Negro (Black Orpheus)", featured the music of Antônio Carlos Jobim, Vinícius de Moraes and Luiz Bonfá. From its score come "Manhã de Carnaval (Morning of the Carnival)" and "Samba de Orfeu" both of which are given authentic interpretations in the original Portuguese language.
Moving to the light classical music on the album, "Granada" has long been a favorite of operatic tenors with versions recorded by such luminaries as Franco Corelli and Plácido Domingo. The work of Heitor Villa-Lobos was often performed and recorded by Victoria de los Angeles. For this album, Mathis performs the composer's Bachianas Brasileiras.
Stone Temple Pilots make reference to this album's artwork in the hidden track on 1994's Purple_(album)