If the answer to any of these questions is yes, “Harry Connick Jr. in Concert on Broadway” needs to be in your collection.
It’s exactly what it sounds like: Connick sings show tunes from the good ol’ days on Broadway (he extols “Guys and Dolls” as a perfect musical before belting out “My Time of Day / I’ve Never Been in Love Before”). The members of his big band and orchestra play their fingers off (especially in the triumphant “Take Her to the Mardi Gras,” which is part of a frenzied and fantastic third-act turn toward New Orleans jazz). People cheer exuberantly; Connick beams (you can almost hear it, for real).
Having had some experience with musicals in my day, this was a blast to listen to. Connick is in brilliant form, using his voice commandingly and fitting in to the large sound created by his band. The aforementioned final third is the best part of the disc, as the band feeds Connick’s presence with their power. Connick is on fire when he really gets roaring, and it’s impressive.
So if you’re in the mood for some N’awlins jazz or musical standards by someone who really believes in them, pick this one up. It will not disappoint you. If you want to check it out before you buy it, the concert that this 15-song CD was culled from is playing on PBS’ “Great Performances” tonight. It’s worth your time. —Stephen Carradini