Klüvers Big Band

Kurt Elling with WBGO's Michael Bourne

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."

KurtElling2009

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.