Sunday, March 30, 2008

For Kurt Elling Fans

UPDATED 09/10/09

Since March has been a month for male jazz singers (Bruce Henry, J.D. Steele, Kevin Mahogany), I thought I’d share a work-in-progress. Either it's a labor of love or a sign of OCD.

I’m a longtime Kurt Elling fan. In addition to buying his CDs, I watch for tracks by him on CDs by other artists.

Here’s what I have so far, in order of release date starting with most recent. Corrections and additions are welcome. I found a few more than Kurt lists on his Collaborations page.


—2009 • Laurence Hobgood: When the Heart Dances • NAIM • B001W2OVUA • Kurt sings "First Song," "Stairway to the Stars," and "Daydream." With Charlie Haden on bass.
—2008: Till Bronner: Rio • Uni Classics Jazz UK • B001CRB9DM • Kurt is one of several guest artists. He sings "Sim Ou Nao."
—2006 • Bob Mintzer Big Band: Old School: New Lessons • MCG Jazz • B000E6EHRC • Kurt sings “My One and Only Love,” “Resolution.”
—2006 • Charley Harrison with Jeff Lindberg’s Chicago Jazz Orchestra: Keeping My Composure • C3 Records • B000EOTRY2 • Kurt sings “Jeannine.”
—2006 • Jim Gailloreto • Jim Gailloreto’s Jazz String Quintet • NAIM • B000E1NVI8 • Kurt sings “Fair Weather,” “Universal Soul.”
—2006 • Fred Hersch Ensemble: Leaves of Grass • Palmetto • B0007GADW2 • Kurt sings 15 selections including “The Sleepers.” When Hersch set out to compose this music, he had Elling in mind as the main singer.
—2006 • Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis: Showcase (DVD/CD) • LRS Media • B000EXZKQM • Kurt sings “Take Five” with Al Jarreau.
—2006 • Up on the Roof: The Best of Kennedy Center Jazz on Jazzset, Vol. 1 • Label? • ASIN? • A collection of live recordings from Kennedy Center performances, broadcast on the WBGO radio program JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater. Kurt sings “You Don’t Know What Love Is.”
—2005 • Laurence Hobgood Trio: Crazy World • NAIM • B0009LNRFU • Kurt sings “More Than You Know,” “Endless Stars.” NB: I found this at
—2005/2007 (reissue) • Ralph Covert: Ralph’s World • Disney • B000VDDCEM • Kurt sings background vocals on “Tickle a Tiger.”
—2005/2007 (reissue) • Ralph Covert: Ralph’s World at the Bottom of the Sea • Mini Fresh (a division of Minty Fresh Inc.)• B000VDDCDS • Kurt sings background vocals on “Many Things to Know.”
—2004 • Bob Minzter Big Band: Live at MCG • MCG Jazz • B0002IQHFC • Kurt sings “My Foolish Heart,” “Eye of the Hurricane,” “All Is Quiet.”
—2004 • Jon Weber: Simple Complex • The Orchard • B0001NBMNK • Kurt sings “Is It Only Me?”
—2003 • Jackie Allen: The Men in My Life • A440 Records • B000094Q1U • Kurt sings “The Bad and the Beautiful.”
—2002 (released 2005) • Retrospective • Released in conjunction with the 125th anniversary of the University of Southern California. Kurt sings "Close Your Eyes" by Bernice Petkere, arranged by USC faculty member Shelly Berg. Recorded at Capitol Studios with the USC Thornton Jazz Orchestra.
—2001 • Orbert Davis: Priority • 3Sixteen Records • B0000648BP • Kurt sings “The Double Blues,” “Midnight in Bahia.”
—2001 • George Freeman: At Long Last George • Savant • B0000589CR • Kurt sings “At Long Last Love,” “Sugar.”
—2001 • Charlie Hunter: Songs from the Analog Playground • Blue Note • B00005NU6A • Kurt sings “Desert Way,” “Close Your Eyes.”
—2001 • Laurence Hobgood: Left to My Own Devices • NAIM • B00005A7PS • Kurt sings “The Waltz,” “Going Back to Joe’s,” “The Masquerade Is Over.”
—1999 • Joanne Brackeen: Pink Elephant Magic • Arkadia Jazz • B00000I89T • Kurt sings “What’s Your Choice, Rolls Royce?”
—1999 • Rhythm & Brass: More Money Jungle: Ellington Explorations • Koch • B00000I0DY • Kurt sings “Ellington Indigos.”
—1998 • Yellowjackets: Club Nocturne • Warner Bros. UK • B00000AG9M • Kurt sings “Up from New Orleans,” “All Is Quiet.”
—1998/2000 (reissue) • Liquid Soul: Make Some Noise • Ark 21 • B0000061TM • Kurt sings “Salt Peanuts/Chocolate Covered Nut.”
—1997 • Rex Richardson: Pandora’s Pocket • Igmod Records • B0000031NQ • Kurt sings “Hymn to the Mother of the World” and the title track.
—1997 • Yule Be Boppin’ • Blue Note • B000002ULY • Kurt sings “Cool Yule.”
—1996 • Bob Belden’s Shades of Blue • Blue Note • B000005GZU • Kurt sings “Tanganyika Dance.”

A stray: I found (on iTunes) a version of "Close Your Eyes" sung by Kurt with the USC Thornton Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Shelly Berg. It is (I believe) from a CD called Retrospective, released in October 2005 in conjunction with the 125th anniversary of the University of Southern California.

Want more Kurt? Find several sound files on his Web site.

Watch Kurt Elling and Al Jarreau sing "Take 5."

—2007 • Playboy Jazz Love Songs After Dark • Pablo • B000NJL0CK • Includes “Change Partners/If You Never Come to Me” from Nightmoves.
—2005 • Blue Note Plays Sting • Blue Note • B00074CC7I • “Oh My God” from Live in Chicago.
—2002 • Kei Kobayashi: Routine Jazz: Blue Note DJ Mix • Toshiba EMI Japan • ???? • “My Love, Effendi” from This Time It’s Love.
—2001 • The New Young Lions of Jazz • Arkadia Jazz • B000056IDK • “What’s Your Choice, Rolls Royce?” from Joanne Brackeen’s Pink Elephant Magic.
—1999 • The Blue Note Years Vol. 7: Blue Note Now & Then • Blue Note • B00000IP3I • “Tanganyika Dance” from Bob Belden’s Shades of Blue.
—1998 • Blue Box 2: The Finest in Jazz Vocalists • EMI International • B00005Y9UY • “Ballad of a Sad Young Man” from Close Your Eyes, “Time of the Season” from The Messenger; with Cassandra Wilson.
—1997 • A Chicago Jazz Tour • Big Chicago Records • B00000G279 • “Dolores Dream” from Close Your Eyes.
—1995 • Esquire Jazz Collection: Crossover Stars: Crosstown Traffic • Blue Note • B000005H1F • “Never Say Goodbye (For Jodi)” from Close Your Eyes.

Are other people performing and recording Kurt’s lyrics? So far I know just these two examples.
—2007 • Sean Jones: Kaleidoscope • Mack Avenue • B000SQKYOS • Carolyn Perteete sings Kurt’s song “Esperanto,” with lyrics he wrote to Vince Mendoza’s tune titled “Esperanca.” Hear Kurt’s version on Live in Chicago.
—1997 • Manhattan Transfer: Swing • Atlantic/WEA • B000002JD8 • Vocalese lyric for “Sing You Sinners” by Kurt; additional lyrics and vocal arrangements by Janis Siegel.

Read Kurt’s lyrics online.
Buy a signed copy of his book, Lyrics.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.