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Kurt Elling's Passion World at Jazz at the Kimmel

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Kurt Elling: “Passion World" Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts Perelman Theater Philadelphia, PA October 5, 2014 Kurt Elling has repeatedly proved his mettle as a vocalist, accumulating so many Downbeat awards and Grammy nominations that it seems superfluous to once again critique any of his performances. One can only say, “Ditto, he's done it again." But, because he keeps developing his scope, it's always worth taking a new ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kurt Elling: 1619 Broadway: The Brill Building Project

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The Brill Building holds a special place in popular music history, not just because of the songs crafted within its walls, but also because of what it has come to represent. The ideal of the Brill Building is associated with songs that soundtrack the lives and loves of millions of people around the world. Singer Kurt Elling's tribute to that ideal, 1619 Broadway: The Brill Building Project, crackles with life as it connects with the emotions these songs engender.

CATCHING UP WITH

Kurt Elling: Stories from New York

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Singer Kurt Elling seems to be always on the go, working with his fine quartet and lending his artful vocals to a variety of other projects as time allows. Whatever the situation, he brings high aesthetic values and standards. He likes to investigate different musical possibilities under the jazz umbrella, which he embraces without reservation.“I don't deny it. I certainly identify that way," he says of being labeled a jazz singer. “I feel that's the approach that I ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kurt Elling: 1619 Broadway: The Brill Building Project

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Where female jazz vocalists are plentiful, male jazz vocals exist in vast minority. With Mark Murphy in twilight, Kurt Elling has few peers in the realm of male jazz vocals where sheer inventiveness and muscularity are concerned. Elling's facility is one so great and his musical vision so clear that, at least for the time being, no one can touch him. He further establishes himself as the preeminent vocalist with the ambitious and successful 1619 Broadway: The Brill Building Project. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Claudia Quintet + 1 featuring Kurt Elling and Theo Bleckmann: What Is The Beautiful?

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Poetry has always been the libretto of jazz music. Even before epic works of the late Gil Scott Heron like “H2O Gate Blues" or “Winter in America" (which inspired the nations of rap and hip-hop), there was Langston Hughes with bassist Charles Mingus on Weary Blues (Verve, 1958), the great Amiri Baraka, and A.B. Spellman. Then there was Kenneth Patchen, one of The Rebel Poets of America, an enigmatic legend who, if he chose, might have laid claim to creating ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Claudia Quintet + 1 featuring Kurt Elling and Theo Bleckmann: What Is the Beautiful?

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Jazz and poetry have a longstanding relationship that precedes the postwar experiments of the Beats, dating back to the Harlem Renaissance. As with any artistic collaboration, the cooperative efforts of improvising musicians and poets have yielded mixed results over the years. One of the first artists to successfully explore this territory (with John Cage and Charles Mingus) was Kenneth Patchen (1911-1972), a poet, novelist and painter whose innovative work ranges from political protest and sardonic humor to sentimental romance. In ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Kurt Elling: The Gate

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Kurt Elling The Gate Concord Music Group 2011 It's amazing how small age differences can impact on the music that resonates in our youth--experiencing it after the fact being so different than living in its time. For 43 year-old vocalist Kurt Elling, the music that reached his young, impressionable ears came from sources as diverse as Earth, Wind & Fire's I Am (Columbia, 1979) , the early-1980s incarnation of King Crimson and Discipline ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Kurt Elling: Denver, Colorado, April 9, 2011

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Kurt EllingSoiled Dove UndergroundDenver, COApril 9, 2011 Perhaps it's ironic: jazz wants to be free, yet boundaries abound. Nowhere has a boundary been more touchy or controversial than the line between jazz and rock. Miles Davis blurred it, trounced it, trod upon it, spat on it. And, in some circles, he was vilified; in others celebrated. Still is. You'd think the famous quote from Duke Ellington would put this sort of thing to rest, ...



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