Personnel: Harry Connick, Jr. (vocals, piano); Rev. James Moore (vocals, organ); Wynton Marsalis (trumpet, piano); Ben Wolfe (bass).
Recorded at Sony Music Studios, New York, New York in September 4-8, 1998.
British filmmaker Michael Apted's most acclaimed work is the series of Seven Up documentaries which trace the life arc of a group of children that the director checks back with every seventh year. Harry Connick, Jr. has followed a similar route, putting out 11, 20, 25, and in 2001, 30 as a way of documenting his abilities at different ages. In keeping with the format of its predecessors, 30 is a stripped-down affair focusing on Connick's subtle piano-playing and the occasional rich vocal display.
Connick packs the program with a raft of songs inspired by his hometown. "Way Down Yonder In New Orleans" gets a sprightly reading, Hoagy Carmichael's "New Orleans" becomes a subtle dirge and "Junco Partner" is packed with interesting time changes before shifting into mid-tempo mode. Elsewhere, the Louisiana native whips out a bouncy version of Fats Domino's "I'm Walkin'" and an off-the-wall arrangement of "Chattanooga Choo Choo" that renders the song nearly unrecognizable. Connick collaborates with gospel legend Rev. James Moore on a sanctified "There Is Always One More Time." and with fellow young lion Wynton Marsalis, who contributes trumpet to the melancholy "I'll Only Miss Her (When I Think Of Her)."