Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Harry Connick Jr.: Occasion

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

Despite its overuse, the notion that great jazz sounds like a conversation between its makers continues to ring true, and Harry Connick Jr.’s latest is further evidence. Returning to the Marsalis label for the second installment of the Connick on Piano series, Hollywood Harry pares down the instrumentation from the quartet on 2003’s Other Hours to match himself with saxophonist (and label boss) Branford Marsalis for Occasion’s set of 13 intriguing duos.

Reactionary playing dominates the record, but the concept runs far deeper than anything like a musical question-and-answer session. As Connick abruptly shifts from languid tones to more lively movements, Marsalis follows in quick, brilliant step, and the result is a set of music that feels off-the-cuff but never sloppy or dashed-off.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.