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Harry Connick JR. & Branford Marsalis - A Duo Occasion DVD

A Duo Occasion

Harry Connick Jr. & Branford Marsalis

(DVMARS0000 / 8 74946 0000 9 3)

Rounder Records and Marsalis Music

Available from Rounder Records

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Bob Gottlieb

This slightly better than 2 hour DVD is an absolute joy to watch on many different levels. The obvious, and arguably the most important is the music contained on this DVD. There is one standard Chattanooga Choo Choo, that is done by Harry as a solo piece to start the concert, 8 of the others were written by Harry Connick Jr., and the remaining 2 songs were written by Branford Marsalis. (This started out as a solo disc by Harry and because they were enjoying it so much it evolved into a duo occasion.) The other level is showing the interplay and collaboration possible between two humans that respect and honor each other, and perhaps love each other as people. The joy of playing with each other is readily apparent from the looks on the faces and the interplay at all levels between the two of them. The banter, both musical and verbal, is done with a respect that is rarely so evident and out in the open, and this allows them to stretch to those other levels, to take the chances, risks, that are necessary to make the quantum leaps, both as musicians and as human being so rarely afforded to us. They almost seem to grow, mature and learn while on the stage together performing for us.

This was recorded at a live concert on June 24, 2005 (the timing of this, pre Katrina, makes the last song Chanson Du Vieux Carré, Song of the French Quarter, all the more poignant) at the Ottawa Jazz Festival, at a relatively intimate venue and it was their premiere duo performance.

They have both had remarkable success at an early age (Branford being 7 years older than Harry) and both are steeped in the traditional jazz sound that is the music of both their hometown, New Orleans, and their families. Both have taken that family background in music and used it to establish a solid foundation from which to spring forth and grow. To be able to see the growing process happen before out eyes, on the stage, is a remarkable achievement.

This DVD captures communication on all planes in a way that is rarely seen, and for that alone should not be missed, and the music needless to say is outstanding.


  • Chattanooga Choo Choo
  • Brown World
  • Occasion
  • Valentine's Day
  • Good To Be Home
  • Virgoid
  • I Like Love More
  • Spot
  • Steve Lacy
  • Light The Way
  • Chanson Du Vieux Carré

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2006, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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