Tickets for the performance will go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday.
In the past two decades, Connick has taken a very hands-on approach to his recording career. Whether performing the American Songbook or in the jazz, blues or funk idiom, the process has yielded consistent success, not to mention worldwide sales of more than 25 million CDs.
For Your Songs, his newest collection on Columbia Records, Connick expands his vision to encompass 14 classic popular songs; his instrumental pallet through a striking integration of a string orchestra and his swinging Big Band; and his basic approach to recording. Clive Davis, the legendary producer and chief creative officer of Sony Music Entertainment, is the driving force behind the change.
The songs that Connick and Davis selected include some of the best known work of singer/songwriters Billy Joel (“Just the Way You Are”), Lennon-McCartney (“And I Love Her”) and Elton John (“Your Song”), as well as classics made immortal by the likes of Nat Cole (“Mona Lisa”), Frank Sinatra (“All the Way”) and Elvis Presley (“Can’t Help Falling in Love with You”).
“Bésame Mucho,” sung in both Spanish and English, is a longtime favorite of Connick’s father, while “Some Enchanted Evening” was included after Connick heard it performed in the current revival of South Pacific. Regardless of the source, however, Connick approached each title with his usual musicality and interpretive strength.
Davis also suggested that Connick orchestrate the album, rather than turning arranging chores over to someone else. It was a wise decision, as Connick displays a unique and subtle manner of balancing the sensitivity of strings and the punch of his big band. “It’s a more spacious approach, with the orchestra in service to the singing; and it was a kick to sing over those charts,” he said.
Connick’s vocals are also in service to the songs, as are the contributions of his featured guests Branford Marsalis (“All the Way”), Wynton Marsalis (“Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” and “Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me)”) and Bryan Sutton (“Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” and “And I Love You So”).
“As a singer, I’m pretty straight with the melodies, and when the soloists asked me what I wanted them to do, I explained that this record is supposed to be straight,” Connick said. “Playing a melody straight can be deceptively hard. On this record, as a pianist, there were times when I would go to play my part with the tape rolling and hardly play anything, because it was all already there.”
What was already there, of course, was a collection of timeless songs, collaboration with a legendary producer and the unprecedented talent that is Connick, monumental parts that together have created the even greater whole that is Your Songs.
Ticket prices range from $43 to $77, plus applicable service charges. Tickets are available at all TicketMaster outlets. Click here to order online, or call 805.583.8700.
— Anna Zamir represents Nederlander Concerts.