Kurt Elling: Stories from New York

R.J. DeLuke By

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"I think there are a lot of great players out there right now among the jazz singers. I'm very hopeful about Gregory Porter's career. He's got a beautiful sound and a really nice concept. I'm happy to hear him developing and see him getting some recognition and gigs where he can really stretch out. JD Walter, who's less known in the states, is very well known in Eastern Europe. He's been touring for a month now in Eastern Europe. His concept is very forward thinking. Very well-developed and exceptional. Virtuosic, really. I'm proud of him. I want to see him get some more. Theo Bleckmann, obviously, continues to make very beautifully crafted works of art. I'm happy to have his company out there in the world.

"Among the women, Becca Stevens is writing some very beautiful things and has a richly textured approach to music. It lights up like a firefly when she sings. She's so wonderful to hear and so wonderful to be in the presence when it's happening live. Gretchen Parlato, another virtuoso-level performer. I'm, interested to hear how her thing continues to develop. She's so smart. There's a gal up in Canada named Laurie Cullen. She's not known in the states at all. I don't know how much touring she does. But my goodness she's got a great sound and a very smart concept ... It's definitely happening. Jo Lawry and Kate McGarry. They're a couple of great singers going down their own paths. There's quite a few really good people out there at this point. And that doesn't even include the fact that Mark Murphy is still making incredible last-minute additions to his oeuvre. And Jon Hendricks is ready to blow any night of the week in any room in the world."

So is Kurt Elling.

Selected Discography

Kurt Elling, 1619 Broadway (Concord, 2012)

Kurt Elling, The Gate (Concord, 2011)

The Claudia Quintet + 1, What Is the Beautiful? (Cuneiform, 2011)

Kurt Elling, Dedicated to You (Concord, 2009)

Laurence Hobgood/Charlie Haden/Kurt Elling, When the Heart Dances (Naim, 2009)

Kurt Elling, Nightmoves (Concord, 2007)

Photo Credits

Page 1: Anna Webber

Page 2: Tracey Nolan


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