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Tuesday, January 12, 2010


320 KBPS

Chicago vocalist Kurt Elling's limber and deep tenor voice is at home in a myriad of idioms, from straight-ahead, Latin, and pop, to poetry, and his wide artistic range is fully reflected in his Concord debut. As in his six previous recordings, his longtime pianist-arranger Laurence Hobgood is at the helm of his trio, with special guests including bassist Christian McBride, Yellowjackets saxophonist Bob Mintzer, and the Escher String Quartet. Building on Jon Hendricks's and Eddie Jefferson's scat-vocalese styles, Elling lyrically caresses and melodically illuminates Michael Franks' title track, jazz diva Betty Carter's angular "Tight," and the rarely-performed Duke Ellington number "I Like the Sunrise." The Guess Who's 1969 rock cut "Undun," surprisingly, comes off, as does the bossa nova "Change Partners/If You Never Come to Me," with its reference to Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Useless Landscape." The question is: what can't he sing?

1 Nightmoves
2 Tight
3 Change Partners/If You Never Come to Me
4 Undun
5 Where Are You, My Love?
6 And We Will Fly
7 The Waking
8 The Sleepers
9 Leaving Again/In the Wee Small Hours
10 A New Body and Soul
11 I Like the Sunrise

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