I got tagged on Facebook to do this project – share ten albums that greatly influenced my taste in music. One album per day for ten consecutive days. In theory for the Facebook version this is supposed to be without explanation… but I want to explain! So I’m going to blog the explanations here.
So far I’ve shared my entry into classical and then my entry into Christian pop music. Now it’s time to get to my other musical love: jazz. I don’t remember which friend introduced me to this record, but it take me long to get hooked. I wouldn’t see When Harry Met Sally, the movie, for another decade, but this soundtrack hit my sweet spot. Full of jazz standards (It Had to be You, Don’t Get Around Much Any More, Stompin’ At the Savoy, Where or When), arranged by a 22-year-old up and coming jazz pianist named Harry Connick, Jr., with a rollicking stride piano version of Winter Wonderland in the middle… could you design an album more perfectly to appeal to teenaged me?
This is one of the records I know every note of. Each hit of each arrangement, every bend in the sax solo on It Had To Be You, and every one of Connick’s New Orleans-inspired alterations to Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off (“I say urster, you say oyster… I’m not gonna stop eating ursters just ‘cause you say oyster… let’s call the whole thing off.”), this record is traced indelibly across my brain.
Eventually I listened to more Connick, and then expanded my jazz horizons with Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Thelonious Monk, but this was where it started for me.