October 25, 2011. Posted by Simon Rentner.
Yesterday, Michael Bourne talked to singer Kurt Elling, who performs at New York's Birdland through Sunday with the Klüvers Big Band, the first Danish big band to appear in the U.S. "There will be surprises every evening," says Elling, with "guest artists sitting in for duets."
Elling’s 2009 album, “Dedicated to You,” won the Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album. His latest, out this year, is “The Gate.” This interview features tracks from that album, including the lyrical “Blue in Green,” the classic by Bill Evans that was originally credited to Miles Davis. We’ll also hear Kurt’s take on “Norwegian Wood.”
He’s been influenced by predecessors Mel Tormé, Mark Murphy, Joe Williams and Jon Hendricks. He’s a master of vocalese and has set lyrics to solos by Wayne Shorter, Keith Jarrett, and Pat Metheny. He’s won the Down Beat critics’ poll of male jazz vocalists on many occasions, among other awards.
© 2011 WBGO
March 27, 2009. Posted by Brandy Wood.
Since April 1979, legendary pianist Marian McPartland has welcomed a stellar line-up of jazz artists for one hour of conversation and improvisation on her Peabody Award-winning program. Each week, McPartland, with her engaging personality and improvisational savvy, hosts a variety of performers in her radio living room. You can hear Piano Jazz on WBGO Thursdays at 6:30pm.
Like WBGO, Piano Jazz is turning 30 this April. To celebrate the anniversary, Ms. McPartland returns to Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola on April 14th. "The Grande Dame of Jazz" will be joined by some of the music world's most radiant performers. Musical guests will include Kenny Barron, Joanne Brackeen, Bill Charlap, Cyrus Chestnut, Kurt Elling, Mulgrew Miller, Arturo O'Farrill, and Randy Weston. That's the short list.
Additionally, Marian McPartland will be honored with a lifetime achievement award from the "Worshipful Company of Musicians" of England during the evening's festivities. The award will be presented by fellow "WM of M" honoree, pianist John Escreet. For more information, check out www.wcom.org.uk.
For event information, visit Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
© 2009 WBGO
January 12, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
If you've ever listened to Live at the Sands, you've heard Quincy Jones' work with Frank Sinatra. Quincy was, in fact, the arranger for a number of Sinatra recordings. At the NEA Jazz Master Awards Concert, The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra had the pleasure of playing some those charts. Kurt Elling had the unenviable position of Chairman of the Board.
Check out what they did together:
Kurt is such a great cat. I watched him backstage, pacing back and forth before the set. Hope he's relaxing now.
- Josh Jackson
© 2008 WBGO