Erik Kabik Harry Connick Jr. at Encore Theater throughout his November 17 show.
Three years ago I spoke with Questlove, drummer and bandleader of hip-hop legends The Roots. At that point, The Roots had actually been the house band for “The Tonight Program Starring Jimmy Fallon,” for five years, and the intensity of the regular TELEVISION gig provided the reputable group something it never had before: lots of practice. “We’re way much better artists now,” Mission said, discussing how Roots’ performances had actually progressed than ever thanks to “The Tonight Show.” “It’s borderline that I feel like we’ve been deceiving you people for 16 years now. I nearly want to send an apology letter.”
Maybe one year of TV duty on the daytime talk show “Harry” has likewise maintenanced Harry Connick Jr.’s band, due to the fact that his show at Repetition Theater on Nov. 18 was one of the very best overall music experiences I have actually had in Las Vegas this year– and that’s stating something as I have actually been to a lot of performances and shows in 2017.
Connick– the award-winning New Orleans-born pianist and singer who relocated to New york city at age 18, discovered superstardom with his tunes for the soundtrack to “When Harry Met Sally” and then got into acting and carrying out in films, TELEVISION and on Broadway– led that exact same band from his TV show, plus a string area, through almost 2 hours of some of his preferred music, seldom giving the capacity audience time to catch up. Sure, he opened with some poppier jazz selections and dipped into a seasonally proper “Sleigh Flight,” but he quickly zeroed in on the noises that formed and influenced his profession– gospel, jazz, rhythm & & blues– from his front-and-center seat at an asphalt Steinway.
If you only know Connick from the huge or little screens, you can’t assist but be blown away by his thorough talents, and the limitless energy and skill of atrioventricular bundle was there to address every call. He reviewed the Jelly Roll Morton standard “Dr. Jazz” that he first tape-recorded at age 11, this time breaking from piano to play a little bit of trumpet in a battle with trombone terrific Lucien Barbarin. He sings in Spanish for “Bésame Mucho.” He plays another New Orleans timeless, “Huge Chief,” all by himself, each hand on a different keyboard and each foot on a different drum. He seduces the audience with “One Great Thing,” a tune he wrote for his other half, actress Jill Goodacre, and even does a little nation guitar deal with “(I Do) Like We Do.”
When it was all over, after Connick’s multi-instrument repetition of Allen Toussaint’s “Yes We Can Can,” I overheard a girl seated behind me explaining how the program had actually captured her off-guard; she was anticipating a lot more Sinatra-style things as Connick was as soon as compared to the iconic crooner. I had comparable ideas, expecting more balladry than brassy horn blasts and bluesy guitar riffage. And no one expected a jazz funeral procession to make its method up and down the aisles of Repetition Theater, with Connick beating a bass drum to “When the Saints Go Marching In.” This TELEVISION talk show host has plenty of surprises.
Harry Connick Jr. continues his engagement at Wynn Las Vegas with 8 p.m. shows on Dec. 1 and 2, and ideally he’ll be back for more in 2018. Find details at wynnlasvegas.com.