Harry Connick, Jr., True Love: A Celebration of Cole Porter

Harry Connick Jr.

Harry Connick, Jr., True Love: A Celebration of Cole Porter

by Constance Tucker


Joseph Harry Fowler Connick Jr. has enjoyed a varied career, a Grammy and Emmy-award winning American singer, composer, actor, and television host. His record sales have amassed over 28 million albums worldwide. Its no wonder Connick is ranked among the top 60 best-selling male artists in the United States by RIAA, with 16 million in certified sales. He has had seven top 20 US albums, and ten number-one US jazz albums, earning more number-one albums than any other artist in US jazz chart history. Connick certainly did not stop at a music career. He has won two Emmy Awards. He played Debra Messing’s character Grace Adler’s husband, Leo Markus, on the NBC sitcom Will & Grace from 2002 to 2006. Connick’s first role as a leading man was in Hope Floats (1998) with Sandra Bullock. His first thriller film since Copycat came in the film Basic (2003) with John Travolta.

Additionally, he played a violent ex-husband in Bug, before two romantic comedies, P.S. I Love You (2007), and the leading man in New in Town (2009) with Renée Zellweger. In 2011, he appeared in the family film Dolphin Tale as Dr. Clay Haskett and its 2014 sequel. Wait, wait there’s more, a one-hour weekday daytime talk show both starring and named Harry, debuted on September 12, 2016.

Connick’s latest release titled True Love: A Celebration Of Cole Porter is precisely what you would expect from Connick. Like Seth McFarland, both talented actors and musicians, they focus on the big band orchestrated sound that ignites the listener with an emotional timbre. Indeed, right on time for the holiday season, when let’s face it, a bit of nostalgia is just what the doctor ordered. The program features timeless Porter chestnuts, and each is performed with panache and skilled execution. Connick has always had a lush and inviting voice, and his swing is impeccable. Much more than a hipster trying out jazz, Connick is deceivingly a skilled pianist and vocalist. Examples of this are front and center on “Begin The Beguine,” Connick features 2:30 of solo piano, his independence of right and left hand in a strides style of piano before the entire ensemble jumps in for a full-throttle big band romp. 

On “You’re Sensational,” well-crafted horn lines adorn the big band swing with a thumping bassline driving the colorization of the melody. Connick has a come hither suave in his delivery. The arrangement on this savvy tune, written by Cole Porter for the 1956 film High Society, is right on the mark, and Connick channels Sinatra famously. A funky Latin “You Do Something To Me,” is guaranteed to get our “tushy pushyin” in its seat.

Overall, is True Love: A Celebration Of Cole Porter a groundbreaking departure from the traditional intent of Porter’s original workings? No, but I don’t get the impression it’s supposed to. It’s right on target and in line with the rest of Connick’s swinging discography. An album that crosses generations and a perfect soundtrack to liven up your festivities and deck the halls with merriment.   

Lyrics: You’re Sensational

I’ve no proof when people say
You’re more or less aloof
But you’re sensational
I don’t care if you are called
“The Fair Miss Frigidaire”
Cause you’re sensational

[Bridge]
Making love is quite an art
What you require
Is the proper squire
To fire your heart

[Verse 2]
And if you say
That one fine day
You’ll let me come to call
We’ll have a ball
Cause you’re sensational, sensational
That’s all

[Instrumental]

[Bridge]
Making love is quite an art
What you require
Is the proper squire
To fire your heart

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