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Come By Me

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Album Review

By 1999, Harry Connick, Jr. found himself in a curious place. Undoubtedly, he was one of the artists that kick-started the whole neo-swing movement that peaked in the late '90s. However, he was always too serious and traditional — too much of a musician, really — to fit in with the likes of the Cherry Poppin' Daddies. Furthermore, he was too much of a veteran. When he was reviving swing, it was in the late '80s, when nobody else believed it could be hip again. Surely, he must have been a little irked when he saw legions of groups that were nowhere near as musically fluent or as knowledgeable as he was cultivate huge followings. So, there was only one solution — return to big-band swing, after years of attempting some sort of amorphous New Orleans funk and R&B. Of course, he'd probably be offended if anyone suggested that Come by Me was actually a response to neo-swing, but it's easy to interpret it that way, especially since he shows what the younger swing groups are missing. Connick knows what makes big bands work. He makes the classics sound fresh and newer songs sound like classics. More importantly, age suits him well; he no longer sounds like a young kid singing his father's music, he sounds natural and inspired. True, he occasionally sounds a bit too close to Sinatra for some tastes, but at least he can really sing, along with knowing how to make a big band swing, which, ironically, not all neo-swing acts can do. That alone makes Come by Me a welcome comeback.

Biography

Born: 11 September 1967 in New Orleans, LA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

With very few exceptions, the career of Harry Connick, Jr., can be divided in half — his first two albums encompassed straight-ahead New Orleans jazz and stride piano while his later career (which paralleled his rising celebrity status) alternated between more contemporary New Orleans music and pop vocals with a debt to Frank Sinatra. Born in New Orleans on September 11, 1967, Connick grew up the son of two lawyers who owned a record store. After beginning on keyboards at the age of three,...
Full Bio