Connick, Jr., Harry - Harry for the Holidays - DVD and CD

Harry Connick, Jr performs Christmas Music on this DVD and CD Box Set!

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DVD and CD Box Set

Harry for the Holidays is both a traditional and musically adventurous Christmas television special, shot in high definition and originally broadcast on NBC in 2003. The unusual yet beautiful setting is the historic interior of the Bowery Savings Building/Cipriani 42nd Street; one can see an occasional car flash by through windows behind Harry Connick Jr. and his Big Band. Connick's program includes holiday standards but his arrangements are novel, cutting against the melodiousness of the likes of "Silver Bells" or "Frosty the Snowman" with edgy strings, sizzling brass, and complex rhythms. "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" and "The Happy Elf" swing like nobody's business, while "Silent Night" shifts from blues to ballad to gospel in a collaboration between Connick, Marc Anthony, and Kim Burrell. Whoopi Goldberg and Nathan Lane turn up for some cute sketches, and there's a bonus: Connick and Burrell doing the lovely "I Pray on Christmas," not seen in the NBC broadcast. An accompanying audio CD features a number of extra tracks ("The Christmas Waltz," "Nature Boy"). --Tom Keogh

Call him the retro Sinatra, the keeper of the big band flame, the swingin' piano man, but Harry Connick Jr., remains one of New Orleans' treasures. His second Christmas CD is as much a salute to his hometown musical roots as it is to the season. Filled with second-line arrangements and fierce horn charts that could blow all that holiday chill back to Canada, Connick's latest revisits upbeat standards such as "Frosty The Snowman," "Blue Christmas," "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," and others. Most swing and romp, but the hymns are given the reverential vocal treatment that Connick is known for on his more secular love ballads. Surprises include a quirky arrangement of "Silver Bells," in what sounds all the world like a Henry Mancini score for an action film. And there's four Connick originals that don't quite match the level of the covers, except for what must be the oddest pairing of talents all season, the duet with country singer George Jones on "Nothin' New For the New Year," an inspired tune and performance from two master stylists. There's nothing quite as lasting as the chestnut he penned on his first Christmas CD, "I Pray on Christmas," but for fans, here's a merry Harry N'awlins holiday love fest. --Martin Keller

Not polka music

Track Listing:

1. Frosty The Snowman
2. Blue Christmas
3. The Christmas Waltz
4. I Wonder As I Wander
5. Silver Bells
6. Mary's Little Boy Child
7. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
8. The Happy Elf
9. I'll Be Home For Christmas
10. I Come With Love 11. Nature Boy
12. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
13. I'm Gonna Be The First One
14. This Christmas
15. Nothin' New For New Year
16. Silent Night
Artist: Harry Connick, Jr.

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