159

Kurt Elling: Live In Chicago

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Kurt Elling: Live In Chicago 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; Intro: (Esperanto); Esperanto; Don’t Get Scared; Into (Goin’ To Chicago); Goin’ To Chicago; Intro (The Rent Party); The Rent Party; Blues Chaser.

Personnel: Kurt Elling

| Record Label: Blue Note Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell CD/LP/Track Review Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 28, 2017
Read Oaktree CD/LP/Track Review Oaktree
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: March 28, 2017
Read Green With Envy CD/LP/Track Review Green With Envy
by James Nadal
Published: March 28, 2017
Read Luma CD/LP/Track Review Luma
by Geannine Reid
Published: March 28, 2017
Read My Foolish Heart CD/LP/Track Review My Foolish Heart
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: March 28, 2017
Read Ha Noi Duo CD/LP/Track Review Ha Noi Duo
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 27, 2017
Read "Flying Machines" CD/LP/Track Review Flying Machines
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 29, 2016
Read "First Set" CD/LP/Track Review First Set
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 29, 2016
Read "Terre II" CD/LP/Track Review Terre II
by Tyran Grillo
Published: June 7, 2016
Read "Together, As One" CD/LP/Track Review Together, As One
by Ian Patterson
Published: February 16, 2017
Read "Ready Take One" CD/LP/Track Review Ready Take One
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 13, 2017
Read "Antenna" CD/LP/Track Review Antenna
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!