Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
137

Kurt Elling: Flirting With Twilight

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count Views
This weekend's shopping list is now clearly defined. Just released, Kurt Elling's fifth album grabs you by the heartstrings and just won't let go. It's a ballad album from the emotional jazz singer based in Chicago. Emphasizing traditional harmony with unique inner voicing, Elling strolls with a superb horn trio and rhythm section. From a delicately soft whisper to a mighty roar, the vocalist produces dynamic changes to enhance each lyric gem. Coming from a wide range of sources, the program represents melodic beauty, and is steeped in jazz's history. Of his new project, Elling says, "I wanted to create something that genuinely comes from us, that can speak to a broader audience. We've been very experimental in the past, and in a way, this record is just as much an experiment." His thoughts, no doubt, lie with audience acceptance. Rather than diving into the creative ether, Elling is simply flirting with it this time out.

Every singer needs a clear mechanism for communicating with his audience. Kurt Elling's natural talent makes it work. His voice is both clear and flexible. Leaps in range pose no obstacle, as the singer dips and rises easily. All the while, his intuitive expression speaks to the public. The world over, folks are sure to get the message. He's supported by a stellar group. Bass and drums blend tastefully with distinction, while Laurence Hobgood leads with a sixth sense. The session provides warmth. Jeff Clayton's sultry saxophone interlude on "Orange Blossoms in Summertime" is followed by a lovely four-part harmony chorus. Elling, with superlative dexterity, supplies the wordless vocal fourth part. Bob Sheppard adds a pleasant, lyrical soprano solo to "Not While I'm Around," as well as a lush tenor interlude on "Say It." Elling's ballad album offers something for everyone and represents a logical step forward for the successfully creative young artist.


Track Listing: Moonlight Serenade; Detour Ahead; You Don't Know What Love Is; Orange Blossoms in Summertime; Not While I'm Around; Easy Living; Lil' Darlin'; I Get Along Without You Very Well; Blame It On My Youth; I'm Thru with Love; Say It; While You Are Mine.

Personnel: Kurt Elling- voice; Clay Jenkins- trumpet; Jeff Clayton- alto saxophone; Bob Sheppard- tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Laurence Hobgood- piano; Marc Johnson- acoustic bass; Peter Erskine- drums.

| Record Label: Blue Note Records | Style: Vocal


Shop For Jazz

Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Catching Up With
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Passion World
Passion World
Concord Music Group
2015
buy
1619 Broadway: The Brill Building Project
1619 Broadway: The...
Concord Records
2012
buy
The Gate
The Gate
Concord Music Group
2011
buy
Dedicated to You: Kurt Elling Sings the Music of Coltrane and Hartman
Dedicated to You:...
Concord Music Group
2009
buy
Nightmoves
Nightmoves
Concord Music Group
2007
buy
Man in the Air
Man in the Air
Blue Note Records
2003
buy
Sarah Vaughan Sarah Vaughan
vocalist
Dianne Reeves Dianne Reeves
vocalist
Cassandra Wilson Cassandra Wilson
vocalist
Sara Gazarek Sara Gazarek
vocalist
Diana Krall Diana Krall
piano
Mark Murphy Mark Murphy
vocalist
Carmen McRae Carmen McRae
vocalist
Benny Carter Benny Carter
sax, alto
Ray Brown Ray Brown
bass, acoustic

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.