Morrison’s album, which includes songs made famous on Broadway, was produced by Phil Ramone, who died of complications stemming from heart surgery last month.
“When he said yes, it was a game changer,” Morrison said of getting his “dream producer.”
Morrison said an ill Ramone surprised him by coming to the November taping of his PBS special, “Matthew Morrison: Where It All Began — Live From the Bushnell,” to air June 1.
“Just listening to him (talk about) working with Billy Joel and Barbra Streisand and just hearing these great stories; some were heartfelt and some were vulgar, stuff I can never repeat, but that was a great part of the journey,” he said.
Morrison has appeared on Broadway in shows such as “Hairspray,” “Footloose” and “The Light in the Piazza,” which earned him a Tony nomination.
He released his self-titled debut in 2011 on Mercury Records, and his upcoming album is the first release on Levine’s new label. He said the multiplatinum singer was an easygoing boss.
“He’s such a fan of these songs, of this genre … we can talk about Frank and Sammy and Dean Martin for days,” he said. “He really treated me as he wanted to be treated as an artist. … He came a couple times in the studio just to kind of hear where we were and he just absolutely loved it. I never felt so free in a recording process.”
Morrison recorded the album in between his schedule for “Glee,” where he stars as Spanish teacher and glee club coach Will Schuester. Fox recently signed the show for two more years, and Morrison plans to stick around.
“As an actor it’s rare to find a steady gig, so I’ll definitely stay on for a while,” he said.
» MORE INFORMATION: Watch video of Matthew Morrison on PBS' "A Capitol Fourth"