Chicago, IL -
There are few entertainers left with the stature of Mr. Johnny Mathis, who at 72 years of age, is celebrating his 50th year in show business. Mathis' recent concert, along with the Chicagoland Pops Orchestra left the sold out crowd with both a sense of wonder and sadness. Wonder, knowing that listening and seeing Mathis live you are in the presence of a music genius, and sadness in knowing that he is one of the last of his genre.
Looking and sounding like he did decades ago, Mr. Mathis performed an array of his beloved hits, including "Misty", "Chances Are"," It's Not For Me To Say" and a stirring version of "99 Miles from L.A." with longtime guitarist Gil Reigers. Backed with the Chicagoland Pops lush sound, a medley of Kismet songs (Baubles, Bangles & Beads; Stranger In Paradise) were palpable.
It is hard to believe how many songs that are entrenched in the American Songbook became classics soley because of Mathis. His unique vocal tones and pin point control of pitch and volume make Mr. Mathis' voice instantly recognizable and an instrument of immense beauty. Songs such as "Wonderful, Wonderful" and "Brasil" would never have had the same success if sung by anyone else.
The first half of the evening belonged to Maestro Arnie Roth who welcomed special guests Gold Company, a jazz vocal and instrumental group from Western Michigan University. The harmonies and solos flowed wonderfully with the full orchestra in such classics as "Route 66," "Georgia on My Mind," "It Had to be You" and "My Country Tis of Thee".
Mr. Roth further showcased the Pops with several John Williams movie themes, including "Schindler's List" and in paying homage to the success of the latest Indiana Jones feature, the main theme from "Raiders of the Lost Ark".
Johnny Mathis performed on May 31, 2008 @ 8:00pm at the Rosemont Theatre
, Rosemont, Illinois. For more information and upcoming events please visit www.chicagolandpops.com