Every Man Should Know – Harry Connick, Jr.

hcj-every man_0

There seems to be some unwritten rule where contemporary jazz artists tend towards making adult contemporary albums somewhere mid-career instead of traditional jazz. Admittedly, Harry Connick, Jr. has been making records a long time, and another album covering the American songbook would be redundant; this album features his writing, and is semi-autobiographical. The breadth of style is pleasant: country with a hint of zydeco on “Greatest Love Story,” New Orleans jazz in “S’posed to Be,” and light bossa touches on “I Love Her.” These elements enhance the songwriting, instead of appearing gimmicky. Every Man Should Know is an album of tasty instrumental touches and well-chosen guest musicians, including Brandford and Wynton Marsalis. Long-time fans may appreciate the new turns in the music, and new fans may discover someone who mixes well with folks like Michael Kaeshammer in light jazz-pop.

Rating: ★★★★☆

-DMK