Lofty's Roach Souffle
No point is served in damning Harry Connick Jr. for being excessively hyped by his label. Columbia released Wynton Marsalis simultaneously in two shades (jazz and classical), so the similar treatment of Connick, the boîte heartthrob, has precedent. But the ballyhoo for Lofty’s Roach Souffle masks just another derivative talent. No mention is made in the album notes of Thelonious Monk, but Connick’s debt to Monk goes beyond the usual borrowings to verge on a peculiarly humorless impersonation: ”One Last Pitch,” ”Hudson Bommer,” and ”Harronymous” are particularly shameless. Connick’s ballad ”Lonely Side” is an equally thin reworking of Matt Dennis’ ”Angel Eyes.” Connick himself is invisible.