Open Fire, Two Guitarsby Johnny Mathis
The open fire of the title is a warm hearth, not an invitation to gunplay. On this 1959 album, Johnny Mathis creates an atmosphere of fireside intimacy by dispensing with his usual orchestral accompaniment so that the purity of his voice entices the listener's full attention. Al Caiola and Tony Mattola play the two guitars that supplement Mathis' crooning, with an upright bass providing the album's only other instrument. Producer Mitch Miller is often associated with gimmicky or novelty productions, but his work on Open Fire, Two Guitars is perfectly understated, emphasizing the gentle caress of Mathis' voice over the relaxed counterpoint of the two guitars. The songs give prominence to the pop standards of Rodgers & Hart, Cole Porter, and the Gershwins, but the title track, "Open Fire," is a new composition by Leiber & Stoller. The album's effect seems nearly a cappella at times, but "In the Still of the Night" finds Mathis intoning the lyrics over gently rhythmic guitar figures that educe new harmonic complexities from a well-known song. The enduring popularity of Open Fire, Two Guitars is attributable in part to its hypnotic aura of closeness and confidentiality, but also to the simple instrumentation that appeals to many rock-era listeners' preference for guitars over orchestral arrangements.
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This CD is just great. Two great guitarist Al Caiola and Tony Mottola. And of course the great voice of Johnny Mathis. I play the disc from start to finish. This is a great disc for a dinner party. My favorite songs are Embraceable You and Tenderly.
probably Johnny mathis at his best........i was hooked on this album listening to it as a kid(thanks to my dad), i'm 30 now and i still listen to it on cd of course, but the guitar playing is gorgeous too. the arrangements by Tony Mottola And Al Caiola are just amazing. this is one of my top 5 albums of all time. Tony Mottola is probably one of the great easy listening guitar players of all time. It's truly a treasure
GET YOURSELF A WARM DRINK AND BLANKET, THEN PREPARE TO SNUGGLE UP TO GLOWING RENDITIONS OF SOME GREAT SONGS. WHEN JOHNNY SINGS ''MY FUNNY VALENTINE'', HE SETS A STANDARD NO OTHER ARTIST HAS MET, TO DATE. MY ALBUM(35-40 YEARS OLD) THOUGH SCRATCHY, STILL DELIVERS A RICH SOUND, ONLY BECAUSE MATHIS IS MAGICAL. THE MATHIS VOICE AND GUITARS ON ''TENDERLY'' CONQUERS ALL. ''WHEN I FELL IN LOVE'', THIS ALBUM PROVIDED THE MAGIC POTION. I'LL BE SEEING YOU'' IS AN UNFORGETTABLE VERSION OF THE LATE LIBERACE'S THEME SONG. YOU, ABSOLUTELY, CANNOT BYPASS THIS ALBUM.