02_Kurt_ElliingThe Gate
Kurt Elling
Concord CJA-31230-02

Kurt Elling's singing is not for everyone. When a musician with the fertile imagination and daring that Elling possesses commits to an idea sometimes what comes out isn't so pretty. A crooner he is not. And not everyone will agree with all of his choices. But Elling has the skills and range to pull off incredible musical feats. He and the band can take a song – like Norwegian Wood on his latest album “The Gate” - and start it off on familiar Beatles’ ground and move it to a place that is way off the original path into fresh, interesting territory. But Elling isn't all cerebral, cold-blooded improvisation. He has a big ol’ mushy side too, and can rip your heart right out of your chest when he wants to, as he does on an ultra slowed-down version of Earth, Wind & Fire’s After the Love Is Gone. And on Herbie Hancock's Come Running To Me, when Elling gets up in his high register he produces some of the sweetest sounds that ever came out of a man. Of course a singer on a journey like this can’t do what he does without solid yet boundary-pushing musicians with him, most notably pianist and arranger Laurence Hobgood, guitarist John McLean, saxophonist Bob Mintzer and Grammy-winning alpha producer, Don Was.

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Author: Cathy Riches
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