Kurt Elling: Minuano
Kurt Elling (vocals)
Man in the Air (Blue Note 80834)
Composed by Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays, with words by Kurt Elling.
Recorded: Chicago, January 13-17, 2003
Rating: 95/100 (learn more)
No vocalist is better skilled than Elling at shaping a song into a satisfying dramatic performance. Pat Metheny's lilting composition is a perfect vehicle for Elling's interpretive skills. He opens with an invocation that caresses the melody for almost three minutes before launching into an exultant 6/8 melody. We think we're reaching the climax of the song, when Elling leaps an octave and pushes the piece into overdrive. Eight minutes of sheer aural pleasure. High marks also to pianist Hobgood (whose acute musical direction is always evident on Elling's recordings) and saxophonist Wheeler.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia
If you liked this track, also check out
The State of Jazz Vocals Today by Ted Gioia
Jazz Vocals in the New Millennium: Selected Listening by Ted Gioia