Kurt Elling: A New Body and Soul


A New Body and Soul


Kurt Elling (vocals)


Nightmoves (Concord 30138)

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Kurt Elling (vocals), Laurence Hobgood (piano), Christian McBride (bass),

Willie Jones, III (drums)


Composed by Edward Heyman, Robert Sour, Frank Eyton and Johnny Green


Recorded: Avatar Studios, New York, no date given (CD released in 2007)


Rating: 89/100 (learn more)

Kurt Elling not only promises "a new Body and Soul" in his song title, but he actually delivers the goods. By now, we are familiar with Elling's fastidious care in reworking the songs in his repertoire. Although his performances sound spontaneous and 'in the moment,' Elling never just wings it. Here he constructs new lyrics inspired by Dexter Gordon's rendition of this standard on the tenorist's 1976 Homecoming release. Elling takes the listener on an ingenious ten-minute journey full of densely packed vocalese, with a little dose of pianist Hobgood as a rest stop before we reach our final destination. He rewards us with a happy ending, and we can sit and contemplate how far we have come since Coleman Hawkins and Chu Berry dished out their own body-and-soul-fulness back in the 1930s.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

If you liked this track, also check out

Kurt Elling: Minuano
Kurt Elling: My Foolish Heart
Mark Murphy: Skylark

Related Links

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

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