Harry Connick, Jr.: Chanson du Vieux Carre (2007)
Connick has toured regularly with this band since the early '90s and this recording, made just after completing a tour, captures them in hot form. On that first tune, after Connick swings in gently with some quiet drum support, suddenly there's a brief splash of brass, some piano and drums again and then a bigger brass explosion and again with just a bit more oomph and then BAM!, we're off! Suddenly, there's that particular sense of excitement unique to that special piece of machinery: a swinging big band.
Connick's own tune "Ash Wednesday (one of several originals), has a lengthy back and forth between a gang of saxophones and trombones, punctuated by trumpets, interlaced with drums. Relentless and throbbing, this is all about a tight unit accustomed to playing together who are doing their stuff. Trumpeter Leroy Jones also provides irresistibly swinging, big-voiced vocalizing on "Bourbon Street Parade while gravel-voiced trombonist Lucien Barbarin has fun growling out "Luscious .
Supporting throughout are Connick's sizzling arrangements which bring out the swell best in his musicians. Guys! Y'all need to take a nice big bow!
Track Listing: Someday You'll Be Sorry; Panama; Ash Wednesday; Chanson Du Vieux Carre; Bourbon Street Parade; Petite Fleur; Fidgety Feet; Luscious; New Orleans; I Still Get Jealous; That's A-plenty; Mardi Gras In New Orleans.
Personnel: Harry Connick, Jr.: piano; Neal Caine: bass; Arthur Latin: drums; Charles "Ned" Goold: alto saxophone; James Greene: alto saxophone; Jerry Weldon: tenor saxophone; Mike Karn: tenor saxophone; Dave Schumacher: baritone saxophone; Roger Ingram: trumpet; Derrick Gardner: trumpet; Leroy Jones: trumpet, vocals; Joe Magnarelli: trumpet; Mark Mullins: trombone; Craig Klein: trombone; John Allred: trombone; Lucien Barbarin: trombone, vocals; Joe Barati: bass trombone.
Record Label: Marsalis Music
Style: Big Band