HCJ Is My New FAS
Rebecca*rhapsodyinblue* | CA USA | 08/19/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Every time I record, I hope to happen upon magical musical moments. They're completely unpredictable and usually rare. You can never count on them. Thanks to some extraordinary musicians that blessed me with their presence on this recording, you can. Ned Goold's tenor sax solo on "Change Partners." Leroy Jones' fantastic trumpet on "Next Door Blues." Lucien Barbarin's tailgate growl on "Cry Me A River." All of these performances are classics." I was just lucky enough to be there at the studio when they were going down." ~ Harry Connick, Jr. ~
Harry Connick, Jr. (HCJ) is my new "Francis Albert Sinatra" (FAS). But wait, don't be quick to raise your eyebrows, folks. I know quite well that Ol' Blue Eyes was the unparalleled Entertainer of the Century and the one-and-only Chairman of the Board. He will always be on top of my list of favorite singers. His music and artistry has touched me in so many ways. It has made me cry. It has made me glad. It has made me dance. It has made me appreciate more the ordinary songs that he recorded and made them extraordinary in his own inimitable style. It also gave me a more discerning pair of ears. I have listened and enjoyed the most remarkable recordings of FAS and HCJ and I must admit, personally speaking, that their music and artistry has moved me in the same level. While FAS was spoon-fed with the best and the most brilliant arrangers/orchestrators in the planet that made all of his recordings standout, HCJ not only sings and plays a musical instrument, he also arranges, conducts, and orchestrates his own recordings. The common denominator between the two exceptional singers is a handsome, stylish voice -- the kind that is very recognizable, distinctive, one-of-a-kind and endearing to the ears. Also, when it comes to showmanship and stage presence, HCJ is not far behind FAS. In my humble opinion, he is at par. Like FAS, he can command the undivided attention of the audience and make them stay focused and never bored.
Released in 1999 by Columbia Records when HCJ was 31 years old, this album, as always, is dedicated to his mother, Anita Connick. It is very unique in the sense that HCJ has utilized his Big Band consisting of 15 musicians plus 81-piece-orchestra that comprises skilled violinists, cellists, trumpeters, guitarists, harpist, percussionists, saxophonists, bassists, flutists, as well as bassoon, viola and oboe players. All arrangements boast layers and layers of beautiful harmonies that make them interesting and engaging.
Out of the 13 songs in the repertoire, five are his original compositions and one of which is my top favorite from his original pen, "A Moment With Me," and the rest are timeless standards from the treasure chests of Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Johnny Mercer, Henry Mancini, Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne, among others. My most magical listening moments include "Easy To Love," "Time After Time," "Danny Boy" and "Cry Me A River."
"I hope you enjoy the songs on "Come By Me." As always, they were masterfully produced and brilliantly engineered by Tracey Freeman and Gregg Rubin, respectively." ~ Harry Connick, Jr. ~
I did! And I am sure that you will, too!"