Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Harry Connick, Jr

Last night HCJr was in town at the Memorial Auditorium. Cindee and I went to see him and it was incredible. The first set lasted about 4 or 5 songs and I knew almost all of them (one or two unfamiliar ones). The orchestra figured into those first songs prominently. He then began singing and playing piano and the orchestra got more of a rest. It even tailed into him singing and accompanying himself on the piano with only the drums or even just a piano solo. He picked up the jazz tempo again when he invited Lucian (?) the band captain out onto stage. Lucian hadn't been playing any instruments up to that point as far as I could tell but he brought out his trombone and he and Harry jammed. The orchestra joined in on some of it and this devolved into a jam session between some of the best musicians I've ever seen (much less been in the same room with). These guys (all male) were fantastic. They weren't your average, run-of-the-mill musicians. They could all stomp the absolute crap outta the music and make their instruments beg to be played. It was awesome. One of the trumpet players Levi something-or-other seriously, seriously molested his trumpet when he trilled and tongued and made it whine for minutes at a time. Words fail to express the levels to which these men took jazz music last night in front of an audience. The whole middle section of the concert (about 30-40 minutes) felt like we were all getting to sit in on a jam session at someone's home studio down in New Orleans (Harry's hometown apparently). It felt like he'd just invited one or two guys over to go to the basement studio and they just had a friggin blast jamming. They were making jokes; Harry talked about how he wishes he could sing high like Steven Tyler (Aerosmith) or Freddy Mercury (Queen) and how he wants to sing those high rock songs. It was totally cool and fun. Top the whole thing off with a 5 or 6 song set from the new album and it was 2 hours of great music and a lot of laughs. He's a great performer on stage (and the orchestra was too).

Thanks for reading,


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