Kurt Elling – The Gate

February 8, 2011 / No Comments / Tags: bob mintzer, chicago, don was, duke ellington, jazz, john mclean, john patitucci, kobie watkins, kurt elling, laurence hobgood, lenny castro, terreon gully, thejazzpage.com

(Concord Records)

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more inventive vocalist in music today than Kurt Elling. On The Gate, produced with Don Was, Elling finds the gem in songs most music lovers have heard for over the past 40 years, but not in the way he presents them. The thrill in listening to each of his successive record is to hear what magic Elling is going to bring next, and with the able arranging of his longtime musical collaborator, Laurence Hobgood, this project does not disappoint. The Chicago-based singer takes on Joe Jackson’s 80’s pop radio tune “Steppin’ Out” and turns it into a groovin’, cool number that sounds as if it would have been right at home in the Sinatra repertoire. No matter what the song, it’s like hearing them for the first time through Elling’s able tones. But it’s not just his voice that makes an Elling project an event. On “Night Town, Lady Bright”, he also adds well-crafted lyrics to Don Grolnick’s tune and artfully weaves in a Duke Ellington quote to great effect. In addition to Hobgood on piano, Bob Mintzer is featured on saxophone, John McLean on guitar, John Patitucci on bass, Lenny Castro on percussion, with Terreon Gully and Kobie Watkins playing drums on various tracks. His first studio effort since 2007, this is yet another Elling recording that serves as further testament to his genius.

Click here to listen to a clip of “Steppin’ Out”.

Tracks: Matte Kudasai, Steppin’ Out, Come Running To Me, Norwegian Wood, Blue In Gree, Samurai Cowboy, After The Love Has Gone, Golden Lady, Nighttown/Lady Bright.

Website: http://kurtelling.com