KMA2270 Harry Connick, Jr. – In Concert On Broadway
Here’s yet another disc I snagged from the death throes of our shite little HMV. It’s been a wonderful week of tunes, with lots of Harry listening!
This one’s an easy one for me, a live performance recorded during a 15-night (sold-out) run on Broadway. What’s great about it is the smattering of songs from across his career. The old jazz standards mix with the funkier creole New Orleans stuff, and throw in a few covers and it’s perfect.
We Are In Love is a Harry classic from the 90s, and he’s in full Sinatra mode. This takes me back to university, when my friend Joanna and I would sing it in the halls of the residence (“I… BAM!… know you… BAM!… so well… BAM!… I can tell by… etc”). Fun times.
Then it’s Fred Astaire’s The Way You Look Tonight, classy as always. But don’t think we’re in for a night of crooning only. Harry takes to the piano for a gorgeous piano rendition of Consuelo Velázquez’ Bésame Mucho. He nails the vocals, with strings behind him. Of course, they swing the hell out of it. There’s a couple of minutes of Harry talking about how sexy it is to sing in Spanish, and what it was like to work on Broadway.
That seques into The Other Hours, which jumps us to 2003 and his album Other Hours: Connick On Piano Vol.1, another lovely and (eventually) swingin’ tune in crooner mode. Nowhere With Love is next, off his Come By Me album. Held together by a gorgeous bass line, Harry jazzes up some piano before singing perfectly. I loved that whole album.
How Insensitive is an old standard, originally composed by Antônio Carlos Jobim (and loosely based on Frédéric Chopin’s Prelude No.4). It’s a slow jazzy burner and the whole band absolutely nails it. Now we’re back to Come By Me with, you guessed it, Come By Me. Here it’s a quick solo Harry New Orleans jazz piano romp in the Professor Longhair tradition before the band joins in and gives it even more lift. Much fun! If you don’t wanna dance to this, something’s broken somewhere!
My Time Of Day/I’ve Never Been In Love Before from Guys And Dolls. His voice is perfectly suited for it, going from the slower first track to full swinging big band beauty on the second. Oh man, this is so great. Up next is All The Way, which you might say is Harry hitting the nail on the head a little too well, but when he covers Sinatra it just fits. Great love song.
James Booker’s Bayou Maharajah comes from waaaay back, off Lofty’s Roach Soufflé (1990), just Harry on the piano and oh lordy, the man can play. Then Harry talks a bit about growing up in New Orleans and how he got to spend time with James Booker, which launches Hear Me In The Harmony, a tune he wrote for Booker. It’s a great moment.
Then we’re in New Orleans for mardi gras with Light The Way, a tune Harry wrote about the flambeaus, who used to light the parade routes before there were street lights in the city. What a fun tune, and that drummer is nailing it. But the party ain’t over! Take Her To The Mardi Gras keeps the fever beat alive, double-time! In looking it up, it’s a Wal-Mart-only bonus track from Harry’s Oh My NOLA album. I know that album and this was new to me! There was also a Borders exclusive track, Just Come Home, for that record. And, as Mike knows of suck things, the Japanese release had both extra tracks. Anyway, nevermind, we were partying mardi gras style!
Bourbon Street Parade (written by Paul Barbarin in 1955) is next, and we’re showing no signs of the party ending. This is Harry’s other wheelhouse, just let the band go with solos and wonderful fills all over the place. I can imagine him dancing on stage for this one. It was on Harry’s Chanson du Vieux Carré record, too. And finally, Mardi Gras In New Orleans (also from Chanson du Vieux Carré) gets wedged in at the end when there were only 6 minutes left (and no time for an encore). Oh man, they really leave it all out on the stage. There’s nothing left, they had to have collapsed! GLORY!
I loved this. It started out all serious and croony, with some great jazz standards. Then it fell into a big mardi gras party by the end and what a time! Fan-frickin’-tastic.
This is a DVD too, which adds a bunch more tracks!
Recipe For Love
St. James Infirmary Blues
How Come You Do Me Like You Do?
Oh, Didn’t He Ramble
as well as A Conversation With Harry.
I NEED THIS DVD! Not want. NEED.