Kurt Elling: Minuano




Kurt Elling (vocals)


Man in the Air (Blue Note 80834)

Buy Track


Kurt Elling (vocals), Laurence Hobgood (piano), Brad Wheeler (soprano sax), Rob Amster (bass), Paul Wertico (drums).

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

Bob Mintzer (featuring Kurt Elling): Minuano
Kurt Elling: My Foolish Heart
Pat Metheny: Minuano (Six-Eight)

Related Links

The State of Jazz Vocals Today by Ted Gioia
Jazz Vocals in the New Millennium: Selected Listening by Ted Gioia

Tags: · ·

  • 1 Michael // Mar 11, 2008 at 04:19 PM
    Kurt ruined a Metheny masterpiece. I didn't feel the same way about his take on the song as you described above. It sound campy and pretentious. Yes, Kurt has a wondeful voice but why impose lyrics to a song that stands alone solidly as an instrumental?
  • 2 Max // Apr 18, 2008 at 11:42 AM
    I totally disagree with you. It's a beautiful metheny song, covered brilliantly by kurt elling. the lyrics fit the feeling of the song perfectly. the polyphonic vocal arrangements are masterful. i can't think of any other singer (besides sting maybe) who could interpret this metheny song as outstandingly.