Vocal Expertise covering Instrumental Masterpieces
Kurt Elling, one of the most versatile vocalists in jazz today, will be preforming at Edinburgh's Queen's Hall on Thursday, 15 January, when the Chicago singer makes his Scottish debut, along with his regular musical partner, pianist Laurence Hobgood, in the company of the Norrbotten Big Band, led by US trumpeter and bandleader Tim Hagans. Kurt's poised, mellifluous baritone and athletic scat singing have seen him top numerous polls for best jazz singer and attracted a clutch of Grammy nominations. Sometimes described as "an instrumental singer", he has set and sung lyrics to such gems as bassist Charlie Hayden's solo based on Glenn Miller's Moonlight Serenade and Wayne Shorter's sax line in the Joe Zawinul classic A Remark You Made.
Kurt, 41, doesn't balk at setting his poetically and spiritually infused lyrics to the greats. His current album, Nightmoves (Concord) matches his words, adapted from those of the 13th-century Sufi poet Rumi, to a lesser-known Ellington number, I Like the Sunrise, while 2003's Man in the Air saw him vocalising one of the most iconic pieces of music in jazz, Resolution, from John Coltrane's A Love Supreme.
Some recent recognition of Kurt's talent:
Kurt topped both the Downbeat Readers and Critics Polls this year as best male vocalist. A clean sweep!
73rd Annual Downbeat Readers Poll results:
518 Kurt Elling
357 Tony Bennett
206 Bobby McFerrin
144 Joao Gilberto
143 Mark Murphy
Jazz Artist Album
331 Michael Brecker - Pilgrimage
292 Herbie Hancock - River
242 Maria Schneider - Sky Blue
182 Kurt Elling - Nightmoves
171 Keith Jarrett Trio - My Foolish Heart