NBC’s ‘bublé!’ high­lights the man be­hind the mu­sic

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - On Tv - BY GE­ORGE DICKIE

Michael Bublé is an ap­pre­cia­tive man these days.

Out on the road for the first time in three years, the Cana­dian crooner has a new out­look on life af­ter watch­ing his five-yearold son Noah bat­tle a rare form of liver can­cer. With the boy now in re­mis­sion, Bublé’s at­ten­tions have re­turned to mu­sic, with a new al­bum “Love,” a sup­port­ing tour and a spe­cial this week on NBC.

In “bublé!” air­ing Wed­nes­day, March 20, the four-time Grammy-win­ning singer of­fers view­ers a more per­sonal look at his life and ca­reer through mu­si­cal per­for­mances and bi­o­graph­i­cal bits. Backed by a 36-piece band, he per­forms orig­i­nal cuts from the new al­bum and past re­leases, along with clas­sics and ro­man­tic stan­dards, as well as a duet with Ce­cile McLorin Sal­vant. Those are in­ter­cut with seg­ments about his life, in­clud­ing footage go­ing back to his child­hood from Bublé fam­ily movies.

The point, says Bublé, is to show view­ers who he is as a per­son, which is an idea that came to him af­ter be­ing mis­taken for an “Amer­i­can Idol” con­tes­tant on a re­cent flight from Ar­gentina.

“I thought, here I am tak­ing for granted that Amer­ica knows who I am or where I came from,” Bublé ex­plains. “And I thought, you know, it would be re­ally lovely in this spe­cial to sort of turn this into a per­for­mance and a biog­ra­phy, a doc­u­men­tary; half and half . ... And then we just went to­ward do­ing that.”

Do­ing the spe­cial brought back mem­o­ries for Bublé, es­pe­cially from his child­hood grow­ing up in Canada and his 10 years on the club/bar cir­cuit, where he says, “No one ever came to see me at those places. They kind of just came to get drunk and dance and meet each other ... but the room was al­ways kind of elec­tric. You never knew what was go­ing to hap­pen, noth­ing was too re­hearsed. There was just a great vibe and a great feel.”

And that vibe is some­thing he hopes to bring to the NBC spe­cial.

“I’ve got the great­est mu­si­cians in the world sit­ting with me on­stage,” Bublé says, “and their abil­ity to sort of get into that pocket, that deep pocket and to swing like crazy and to make this stuff feel so great gives us all the abil­ity to be au­then­tic. And it’s not just about me be­ing me, you know, my per­son­al­ity or the things I say. It’s about mak­ing sure the mu­sic is au­then­tic. And I think that’s some­thing you can talk about but once you do it, I think peo­ple, even if they can’t put their fin­ger on why or what’s hap­pen­ing, they feel it.”

Michael Bublé stars in “bublé!” Wed­nes­day on NBC.

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