Harry Connick Jr.
True Love: A Celebration of Cole Porter
Harry Connick Jr. is a musical master; wizard. Beautiful singer, great pianist, dab-hand at the arranging and such an ear and feel and flow to it all. He has made it look and sound easy – but that’s what happens when you’re a child prodigy. Whatever keeps Harry away from judging reality TV shows or making middling rom-coms (even though he’s even had a positive influence in the music competition judging and he’s not a ‘bad’ actor) is good with me. I always welcome his return to music.
And here he pays tribute to one of the Great Songbook greats – Mr. Cole Porter. It couldn’t go bad if he tried. And it doesn’t. It’s, er, S’Wonderful!
The big band is cooking, the arrangements are swinging, the songs are going to be perfect no matter how you slice them and Harry is in fine form – his voice and playing sublime. As ever.
He even knows to stand right out of the way more often than not; this is a tribute to a great songwriter and these songs – whittled down from the many dozens – are there to shine the light. Some of them Connick has tackled before, others are new to his recorded oeuvre. But he has such great instincts in selection and presentation – a light swing behind True Love, a bit of New Orleans soul and sway to the end solo on Begin The Begine, some sultriness to the version of All Of You, to the version of Just One Of Those Things, to the version of You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To; I mean how can you really fuck those up/why wouldn’t you want to get them right?! And we’re talking safe hands here. Safe, safe hands.
Actually his orchestra is stunning. And more than once I get the feel that this is almost as much a tribute to Sinatra as it is to Porter; Sinatra did enough of his own Cole Porter-themed albums and tributes. And Harry carries a torch here for both.
He really is a class act. And we’re lucky to have him doing this great work still. It flows through him. It’s his gift to us.