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Kurt Elling

Kurt Elling

Kurt Elling Quartet
@ the Pizza Express Jazz Club, London
21 October 2006

Click an image to enlarge.

Chicago based Kurt Elling was torn between serving the Lord and following music... Selfish as it sounds personally I am relieved he chose music, though I believe he has somehow managed to fulfil both callings. Still, if he had chosen the latter I would have gladly attended ‘his’ church on a regular basis to listen and absorb whatever this man had to say (or sing). Or perhaps just to have a general chat, and confess to having a problem with time keeping.

Don’t worry, you will getter better photographs during the performance”!

Elling calmly explained as I stumbled unceremoniously towards the Pizza Express stage, just as he was stepping down after completing his sound check. I was late again!

“…Believe me, you will getter better results during the live performance”!

Elling reassured me with a smile.

Elling is blessed with a rich mahogany baritone that reverberates smoothly. Familiarities have been drawn with Frank Sinatra… understandably - There are definite phrasing and perhaps tonal similarities, but Elling brings his own unique warm soulful charm to each composition, ‘or poem’. On first listen to his latest offering “Nightmoves”, it is the sparse, but natural beauty of ‘The Waking’ that awakens the spirit, compliments your natural body rhythms and sends the senses reeling. ‘In The Winelight’ from his “Man In The Air” 2003 release will lead you into a ‘nice’ smooth jazz false sense of security, but the inclusion of Elling’s lyrics on Coltrane’s ‘Resolution’ re-address the balance, and remind you that Elling is a lyrical heavyweight.

Elling’s engaging presence and charm instantly transform the cold, clinical CD format. He transfers these traits easily to a live intimate setting, such as the colourful Pizza Express stage. Elling's voice has definitely found a home within the innate sound of Rob Amster’s bass and Laurence Hobgood’s piano. The three simply fit hand in glove musically.

I challenge anyone to listen to Kurt Elling’s voice and poetic verse (especially on a quiet warm summer evening) and attempt to carry out any other task at the same time. If you are not compelled to concentrate on Elling alone, you may need to visit your GP.

Kurt Elling Desert Island Discs

Count Basie and his orchestra – Breakfast Dance and Barbeque
Reneé Fleming & Jean-Yves Thibaudet - Night Songs (Fauré, Debussy, Marx, Strauss, Rachmaninov)

Robin Francis
© Michael Valentine Studio Ltd.

Kurt Elling

Kurt Elling Kurt Elling

Kurt Elling

Robert Amster Robert Amster

Laurence Hobgood

Kurt Elling Kurt Elling

 

Kurt Elling

Kurt Elling

Kurt Elling

Kurt Elling

Kurt Elling

Kurt Elling

Kurt Elling

Kurt Elling

Kurt Elling

Kurt Elling


Recommended
Listening

Click the link below for more on Kurt Elling:
kurtelling.com

The Gate
Nightmoves Man In The Air Close Your Eyes

 

Further Recommended
Viewing

Click the images below to see Kurt Elling with Richard Galliano And the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra 2011...
Kurt Elling at Jazz Voice in 2009...
Kurt Elling @ the PizzaExpress Jazz Club 2009...
Kurt Elling @ the Queen Elizabeth Hall 2008...

Kurt Elling with Richard Galliano And the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra 2011 (click to go to this page) Kurt Elling at Jazz Voice in 2009 (click to go to this page) Kurt Elling @ the PizzaExpress Jazz Club 2009 (click to go to his page) Kurt Elling  @ the Queen Elizabeth Hall 2008 (click to go to his page)

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