One of the warmest ballad singers to mature during the 1950s, Johnny Holiday never became a major star but he worked steadily throughout the era. 'Holiday' for Lovers was originally released by the Mode label just before it went out of business, and it has been a true rarity ever since. Backed by an octet of West Coast all-stars arranged by Marty Paich, Holiday sounds at his very best, interpreting a set of slow and medium-tempo ballads with warmth, sensitivity, and a light swing. Holiday only sang music on a part-time basis after the music world changed in the 1960s, but in 1998 he re-emerged with his warm baritone intact and full of enthusiasm despite being 74 years old, still sounding very much in his prime as he entered his eighties. The reissue of 'Holiday' for Lovers, which has concise solos from many of the sidemen (most notably altoist Herb Geller and trumpeter Jack Sheldon), is a very welcome event. ~ Scott Yanow
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