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Jazz Articles

LIVE REVIEWS

Kurt Elling With The Keith Ganz Trio at Jazz Standard

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Kurt Elling With The Keith Ganz Trio Jazz Standard New York, NY July 31, 2016 If there's any genre of music that's truly built on the idea of spur-of-the-moment change, it's jazz. And so, in that very spirit, we had this performance. The audience that came down to hear the inimitable Kate McGarry on this cool and humid summer night was swiftly reminded of the fact that things don't always work out as ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Branford Marsalis Quartet with Special Guest Kurt Elling: Upward Spiral

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To one extent or another, jazz has always maintained a discriminatory dividing line between vocalists and instrumentalists. Instead of being viewed as equals--artists on par with all the rest, possessing the same good sense, skill, and stake in an artistic outcome--vocalists have often been unfairly stigmatized and interned in a separate category. But all of that has slowly been changing, due in no small part to a large and continually growing crop of vocalists who are consistently raising the bar. ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Kurt Elling at Bing Concert Hall

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Kurt Elling Stanford Jazz / Bing Concert Hall Palo Alto, CA February 27, 2016 Kurt Elling is full of it--talent that is. As a vocalist, performer and writer/poet, he is just, simply--off the charts. His performance for Stanford Live at Bing Concert Hall, at Stanford University in Palo Alto on Saturday, February 27 made it clear that he is a major talent in the world of jazz today, though, surprisingly, outside of the jazz world, ...

LIVE REVIEWS

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 ...


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