News Column

Review: Harry Connick Jr. delivers jazz, charm

November 17, 2013


Nov. 17--CATOOSA -- The saints came marching into The Joint on Saturday night withsoulfulcrooner Harry Connick Jr. leading the parade.

Connick sang, led the band, played piano, trumpet, and guitar. He danced. He told jokes. And did all on point.

By the end of the night, after New Orleans-native Connick played such staples as "When The Saints Go Marching In," "Come By Me" and "One Fine Thing," the sold-out crowd at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa was infatuated, if they weren't before by his charm and good looks.

And not that he needed it to make him sound better, but with a 13-member touring band consisting of strings, brass and percussion that have to be some of the best in the industry, it didn't hurt.

"I feel like we're on a date and I'm very attracted to you," Connick said.

That sound you hear is the melting of thousands of hearts.

Connick channels well his New Orleans roots, with his Southern accent, charm and musical style. Growing up in New Orleans in a musically inclined family, Connick started playing jazz and the piano at a young age.

He moved to New York to further expand his music career and there was picked to provide the soundtrack for the hit movie "When Harry Met Sally." The music was mostly jazz standards, but it launched his career in music to a national stage.

The year after "When Harry Met Sally," Connick made his own film debut in "Memphis Belle," the 1990 film about a bomber crew in World War II. He has since acted in 20 movies, with another planned for release next year.

Connick has been a hit on the small screen, as well. He was in more than 20 episodes of "Will & Grace," had a recurring role on "Law & Order: Special Victim's Unit" and most recently was announced as a judge on the upcoming season of "American Idol."

During all of that, he has released nearly 30 studio albums and earned three Grammy Awards and two Emmy Awards.

Connick gets a lot of recognition for his vocal talent, but he deserves more for his instrumental skill. His piano and trumpet solos were big and had a jazzy kick.

His jazzy style is one not seen in the mainstream too much outside of New Orleans. Even here, the string section added another dimension to the sound. Where New Orleans jazz is dirty, strings polished the sound a little more.

Not to say there weren't some raw jazz moments. The encore featured Connick, a guitar player and a trombone player trading the solos back and forth. It was fantastic.

His latest album, "Every Man Should Know," featured a variety of styles that were reflected in the show. From gospel to funk to jazz to pop.

No matter the style, the packed crowd loved it. And Connick appreciated the love.

"Y'all in Tulsa, you got it going on," Connick said.

Jerry Wofford 918-581-8346


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