159

Kurt Elling: Live In Chicago

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Singer Kurt Elling’s first three recordings for Blue Note records were quite ambitious, but being studio albums, they lost much of Elling’s spirit in the production. The jazz singer, like the poet, is best heard live. Elling, captured during a three-night gig at Chicago’s Green Mill, finally has realized (on record) his full potential. He’s a scatting, rapping, swinging metaphysician of hip. The former philosophy and divinity student picks up on the vocal tradition of Mark Murphy, maybe becoming the Chicago cousin of Frank Sinatra. Packed with guest appearances, the seventy minutes of music hardly seems adequate to satisfy a listener. There’s a duet with hand drummer Kahil El’Zabar on Sting’s “Oh My God,” Jon Hendricks joins in on two tracks swapping vocals and smart scatting, and Chicago saxophonists Ed Petersen, Von Freeman, and Eddie Johnson crash the party for the spoken-word jam, “The Rent Party.” An early entry into my list of jazz records of the year, Elling is the everyman’s singer. Like Tony Bennett, and Springsteen for that matter, his voice isn’t pretty but real. You think, I could sing like that and then he scats “The Flight of The Bumblebee,” and you realize there’s a fuel-injected six-cylinder turbo under his hood. As long as he doesn’t catch Cassandra Wilson (overproduction) disease, he should be at the top of the vocal game for some time.

Track Listing: Downtown; My Foolish Heart; Smoke Gets In Your Eyes; Oh My God; Night Dream; (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons; spoken intro: (Esperanto); Esperanto; Don

Personnel: Kurt Elling- voice; Laurence Hobgood- piano; Rob Amster- acoustic bass; Michael Raynor- drums & percussion; Jon Hendricks- voice on "Don

Title: Live In Chicago | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Blue Note Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Triple Double CD/LP/Track Review Triple Double
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 21, 2017
Read The Study of Touch CD/LP/Track Review The Study of Touch
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 20, 2017
Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read "Invisible Hand" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Hand
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 9, 2017
Read "Stage 'N Studio" CD/LP/Track Review Stage 'N Studio
by Jerome Wilson
Published: August 8, 2017
Read "Argonautica" CD/LP/Track Review Argonautica
by Troy Collins
Published: November 14, 2016
Read "Momentum" CD/LP/Track Review Momentum
by John Sharpe
Published: April 5, 2017
Read "The Day After" CD/LP/Track Review The Day After
by David A. Orthmann
Published: February 14, 2017
Read "Collage of Moments" CD/LP/Track Review Collage of Moments
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 17, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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