Kurt Elling at the Bird
BY LARS BJÖRN
acclaimed vocalist Kurt Elling returned to Ann Arbor's Bird of
Paradise on July 9 with Laurence Hobgood's trio. It was my first chance
to hear Elling and his was an interesting acquaintance.
Elling is a very versatile jazz
singer with a wide repertoire. He scatted his way through a rousing
version of Horace Silver's "Blowin' the Blues Away," a challenging number
very few jazz vocalists have attempted. The tempo slowed dramatically
with "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," a number many jazz vocalists stay away
from. Elling served up a fresh version with genuine feeling, until the
coda where he came closer to the schmaltz associated with the Platters.
I was less moved by his attempts at talking poetry and it was not really
until his encore, "I'm Gone," that I found him back in the initial groove.
Throughout the evening Hobgood
impressed with some carefully articulated piano solos and exemplary
comping a pianist deserving a spotlight of his own.
photograph by Lars Björn
I N - T H I S - I S S U E :
1. FESTIVAL LINE-UPS---2.
JAZZ FESTIVAL DIRECTOR
3. KURT ELLING---4. RECENT
5. SEMJA CLINICIANS---6.
DETROIT FEST SCHEDULE