Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Harry Connick Jr.|
We Are in Love (Sl)
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
Harry Connick Jr. has a rare gift for summoning the style of classic 1940s saloon singing, hinting at Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and especially Dick Haymes, without engaging in actual impersonation. What's more uncanny s... more »
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Harry Connick Jr. has a rare gift for summoning the style of classic 1940s saloon singing, hinting at Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and especially Dick Haymes, without engaging in actual impersonation. What's more uncanny still is his songwriting, an idiomatic command of the standards that often summons some of the rhythmic ease of Gershwin, the tunefulness of Jerome Kern, and the wit of Cole Porter. Both his singing and songwriting talents are evident on this CD, recorded in 1990 when Connick was just 22. Its emphasis is squarely on the subject of love, both on the ballads and some harder swinging tunes, and Connick's voice shines on original songs and the standards "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" and Porter's "It's All Right with Me." Connick's voice and piano are ably supported by bassist Ben Wolfe, drummer Shannon Powell, and a string section, while there are some good jazz solos by regular associate Russell Malone on guitar and guest Branford Marsalis on tenor and soprano saxophones. --Adam Rains
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Why don't I listen to this one more often??
Greg Brady | Capital City | 11/05/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I, like most Connick fans, "discovered" him through hearing his music on the soundtrack to the Meg Ryan/Billy Crystal movie WHEN HARRY MET SALLY (ASIN B0000026V6). At the tender age of 20, I bought the CD to accompany it and loved it. I had the rare opportunity to judge these time-tested tunes with an unjaundiced ear of naivete: Grandma and Grandpa had some good tunes AFTER all. When his 2nd disc (this one) came out, I hurried to purchase it and was underwhelmed at the time outside of a couple tunes I felt were pretty catchy (Recipe for Love and It's Alright with Me). In all fairness it's difficult for ANY composer to stand alongside the likes of "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" or "It Had to Be You". As time went on, I discovered more of the big band era singers and performers' original versions and adjusted my estimation of the WHMS disc downward a bit (in comparison with folks like Sinatra, Crosby, and Cole...Nat, not Natalie).
But a curious thing happened when I revisited this disc recently: I played it again. And again...and again...and again. Perhaps some of it is the novelty of hearing new "oldies" but quite a few of these tunes are holding up for me, particularly with my more mature ears these days.
"We are in Love" is the confirmed bachelor's surrender: "I do..could it be that's the phrase you thought never would phase you/Well baby, you'd better hold on tight/'Cause I'm the one/who's supposed to kneel down and propose/well alright/I might, I might". "Recipe for Love" follows a similar theme with a novelty approach. ("It doesn't need an oven 'cause it's got a lot of heat/Just add a dash of kisses to make it all complete..") Love is fading in "Drifting" as the song's hero faces facts. ("Though you say your heart isn't drifting, drifting/The words simply don't ring true/You're drifting and I'm losing you") It's easy to envision a Disney character waltzing to the tune and singing to the offscreen lover (meaning it feels timeless, not schmaltzy) "Forever, for Now" has perhaps the most unlikely arrangement in that in incorporates a twangy bass that almost resembles 50's surf guitar at times along with cheesy, "film noir detective flick" muted trumpet and it actually WORKS. "It's Alright with Me" is the sole non-original that qualifies as a gem here. Connick turns in an irresistible cover of the Cole Porter classic.
Connick usually falters when he forgets that "ballad" doesn't equate to "wimpy". "Buried in Blue" betrays some truly poetic lyrics ("You can report a missing person/But not a stolen heart/And I'm missing a person/to whom stealing was an art") with wake-me-when-it's-over pacing that drags on for nearly 7 minutes. "Only 'Cause I Don't Have You" similarly feels leaden thanks to its molasses melody. Same for "Just a Boy" but it adds the extra bogging down of a pretentious lyric about growing up that wants to be "deep" but just comes off as silly. ("Now that we're tall and all grown/A house, a car, lives of our own/We put off but we can't postpone/The way we become men")
This is 2nd only to RED LIGHT, BLUE LIGHT as my favourite Connick effort. It's aging well. Recommended."