Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I Love Harry

In September 1992 when I was starting college and moving into my dorm, my freshman roommate plastered a gigantic poster of an up-close picture of a man's face on her wall. He stared right over at my side of the tiny dorm room.

I asked, "Who's that?"

And she said, "Who's that?!!
Who's that?!! That's Harry Connick, Jr.!!"

I said, "Never heard of him."

She introduced me to Harry immediately, popping in CDs and gushing all about the guy. By Christmas, I was in love with Harry, too.

She, together with many more friends as well as my future husband, taught me more about jazz than I had ever, ever known. And specifically, they taught me about Harry.

By April, I'd properly driven my roommate crazy by coming upstairs and blaring Harry's "Just Kiss Me" very loudly after every date with Mark.

Two summers later, a group of us girls went up to Park City and saw Harry live at an outdoor concert. That was for his "She" album. He was phenomenal. I've never,
NEVER seen anyone play piano like that. It may be that--his piano playing ability--more than anything else, that I love about Harry most. Have you ever seen him play?? It's like he is ONE with the keys. He effortlessly dances over the keys like nobody's business. And I go crazy watching it. I was hoarse by the end of that concert and couldn't speak for 2 days.

Before the concert

After the concert

Harry is THE BOMB.

As newlyweds, Mark and I got tickets to the Newport Jazz Festival. Why? Because it's cool, but mostly because HARRY was headlining! HARRY!!

I was SO excited about Harry mentoring tonight that I caught myself daydreaming and smiling earlier today. Seriously.

OMG! I LOVE HARRY!! I will try to write about the contestants tonight and not let my love, love, love of Harry Connick, Jr. get too much in the way, "try" being the operative word.

The Top 5 all looked studly and lovely tonight as they walked out on stage.
And then, the kingpin stud of them all, Harry Connick, Jr., descended the grand staircase with his Louisiana swagger.

And OMG! He's playing piano!! He's playing piano!! And, holy moly, he arranged all the songs!! Have I mentioned I love him??

Aaron - "Fly Me To The Moon" I'm so star struck. He's PLAYING FOR THEM!! I kept not paying attention, instead daydreaming about what it would be like to meet Harry. What would I do? I'd be so excited, but I hope I'd hold it together and not be giddy. I don't know if I could, though. I mean, it's Harry! We own every one of his CDs. We've both seen him in concert twice (once each separately back in our single days and once --so far--together). We've seen him in movies. We've watched his concerts on DVD. We've caught interviews with him. We yell, "Hi" to him every time we drive through Stamford, CT on our way to MA. I'd try to hold it together. It would be such a thrill to meet him. Oh, I'm supposed to be writing about Aaron. See? This is how the performance was for me, though. Aaron was singing and I was daydreaming, so clearly it didn't capture my attention. Aaron seemed nervous and shaky. He looks cute and I, unlike Ellen, thought he sounded like a country singer doing a jazz number. Kinda weird and just okay.

Casey - "Blue Skies" Casey reminded me of Ace Young tonight--hair slicked back, smiling too much, making us uncomfortable, and seeming oh so nervous. It was not effortless at all. He did challenge himself vocally and I give him props for that, but it all felt a bit awkward for us at home. He was very J.D. (Scrubs) tonight again. And that's really not good. See, I was distracted enough from his performance to notice that, so it wasn't as good as previous performances of his. The judges were awfully harsh. And Harry (he's da man!) defended him. He's the best (Harry, not Casey). C'mon, keep up.

Crystal - "Summer Wind"
She looked stunning. It was awesome. It was very her AND very Harry. She sounded much better than the judges said. She's going to start annoying people, though, with her constant arguments with the judges. Take a page out of Lee's book, honey. He's the one to your left, passing you in the fast lane.

Big Mike - "The Way You Look Tonight"
It was VERY good. He seemed so confident and so at ease. He sang incredibly well. And that arrangement? GO HARRY!

Lee - "That's Life" Harry Connick, Jr. says, "My wife thinks he's cute." And I yell out, "That's 'cuz they look alike!" I've been saying that all along -- like here and here and here. I know my stuff when it comes to Harry. And Lee looks like Harry and even has a little swagger like Harry. I. Loved. It. Lee was PHENOMENAL. And I'll say it yet again -- he is SO going to win it all. He's very modest and humble a la Elliott and David Cook. I love Lee. And so does Harry!

What do I get from the show tonight? 3 things.

1. I never thought I'd ever hear the words "Harry Connick, Jr." and "Lady Gaga" in the same sentence. It's honestly almost insulting that they're even going to perform on the same stage on the same night. Bah.

2. Harry rules. I love Harry.

3. Lee will win.

I already knew 2 and 3. #1 was new to me.

Best to worst tonight:




Kevin/Casey (tied for last)

Bottom 3: Kevin, Casey, and Crystal

Leaving us tomorrow: Kevin or Casey


Dr. Mark said...

Harry Connick, Jr. concert or American Idol. I think you and I saw different shows at times. You were having J.D.-esque daydreams, weren't you?

Great review. Looking forward to your review of Lady Gag-ga.

Zelia said...

I tried calling you after Dwyze sang to tell you that I think you are right. He is going to win, hands down. From week to week he is getting better and better.
Maybe Simon should invite you to be a judge. But Please, do not say the words pitchy or dog.

Jimmy said...

Yeah, I didn't quite get the whole Sinatra thing and I know you're not going to believe this, but Harry kind of got on my nerves. He talks too hip-hop for a white man his age.

But when Lee got on stage, I think I started to understand it all a little.

Boquinha said...

Mark, why yes I was!

Thanks for the comment, Mom! I think I'm right, too. :)

Jimmy, he can get away with it. He's from New Orleans, grew up there, has done A TON to raise money, was one of the first famous people to respond after Katrina, is intimately tied to the Marsalis family, has ALWAYS been surrounded by black musicians . . . he's kinda "white" in skin only, truth be told. And have you heard of his reaction to the blackface sketch on the comedy show in Australia on which he was a guest judge? He was not pleased. There are YouTube videos of his comments everywhere. It bugs me when someone tries to act all hip-hop, too, but with Harry, I really think it's genuine.

katie said...

I have to say that when I heard that Harry Connick would mentor, my first thought was of you. You just never forget somethings!

terahreu said...

I remember your love for Harry even from the old Phoenix days. It is great that the AI and Harry mix happened for you. I must agree, he was the best mentor--by far. It was great that he added so much humor to ease the contestants. They should have more mentors like him. But to be truthful, I can't think of one.

I am with you about Lee. He is fantastic and delicious!

Robynne said...

What an awesome Idol week! Harry was PHENOMENAL with the contestants, definitely the best mentor ever. I LOVED that he arranged their songs, played the piano for them, etc.

Lee has timed it perfectly to take the whole thing (though I don't think it was on purpose) - he is peaking at just the right time...hopefully he'll continue that upward trajectory!

J Fo said...

Who's Kevin? You've got him listed as going home...I thought his name was Aaron? ;)

LOVED HARRY tonight. I have liked him for a long time, but not with as much vigor (stalker) as you! hehe...

Did you get my text when I finally watched the show? Lee was awesome!

Boquinha said...

Thanks, Katie! I guess so!

Terah, great minds!

Robynne, indeed!! I agree with you--timed perfectly, though I don't think it was on purpose. I think his humility has propelled him quite a bit, so I think it's genuine.

Jess, ROTFL! That's hilarious that I said Kevin. Every time I see Aaron, I think of Kevin Covais. It's actually a miracle that I haven't made that flub up sooner. :P I did get your text and I couldn't agree more!

Boquinha said...

Holy cow, I just checked and I said it at least 3 times!!