Flirting with Twilight

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ted Panken
Call him pretentious or profound, Kurt Elling is an original, which is no mean feat. On his first four Blue Note releases, Elling mixed songbook standards, jubilant and balladic, with original poem-songs, lyric personalizations of jazz standards, and extended, on-the-highwire vocalese improvs that springboarded from the innovations of Eddie Jefferson and Mark Murphy, his most frequently mentioned stylistic antecedents. Downbeat's reigning Male Jazz Singer of the Year, the 33-year-old Elling mutes the vocalese on Flirting with Twilight, a consequential exploration of 12 American Songbook love songs to which he imparts the legato grace of a master ballroom dancer. In ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ted Panken
Call him pretentious or profound, Kurt Elling is an original, which is no mean feat. On his first four Blue Note releases, Elling mixed songbook standards, jubilant and balladic, with original poem-songs, lyric personalizations of jazz standards, and extended, on-the-highwire vocalese improvs that springboarded from the innovations of Eddie Jefferson and Mark Murphy, his most frequently mentioned stylistic antecedents. Downbeat's reigning Male Jazz Singer of the Year, the 33-year-old Elling mutes the vocalese on Flirting with Twilight, a consequential exploration of 12 American Songbook love songs to which he imparts the legato grace of a master ballroom dancer. In working with such repertoire, Elling challenges us to consider him in terms of a broader ancestral tree, one that includes such interpretive masters as Nat Cole, Frank Sinatra, and Johnny Hartman. It's heady company, and Elling -- in collaboration with his longtime associate Laurence Hobgood, his producer-pianist-arranger, and A-list bass-drum pair Marc Johnson and Peter Erskine -- does himself proud. His tenor voice is appealing and believable. While the chops aren't superhuman, he's refined his technique to the point where he has complete command of his instrument, down to the most innocent crack of the voice. A poet of some accomplishment, Elling understands time and meter and dynamics profoundly, and he executes his ideas with formidable breath control that allows him to extend phrases into fascinating shapes that are unerringly appropriate to the narrative. He cuts to the heart of the lyric, constructs a story, and projects a full complement of drama and emotion, without bathos. These songs were composed a generation before Elling's birth, but in his hands they are anything but covers; there isn't a cookie-cutter moment.
All Music Guide - David R. Adler
Who but Kurt Elling would open a ballads album by singing a Charlie Haden bass solo? It's a typically ambitious move, transforming "Moonlight Serenade," Glenn Miller's perennial slow-dance favorite, into a hip, smoky ode. Elling is a distinctive vocalist, endowed with true musicianship: Listen as he sticks to his band like glue on the very slow tempo of "Lil' Darlin'." That's not easy. Laurence Hobgood, Elling's longtime musical partner, plays outstanding piano throughout and crafts subtle horn arrangements on several tracks. Bassist Marc Johnson and drummer Peter Erskine illuminate the session as well. The horn section -- trumpeter Clay Jenkins, alto saxophonist Jeff Clayton, and tenor saxophonist Bob Sheppard -- is heard to greatest effect on the closing "While You Are Mine" and the beginning of "Detour Ahead." Some of the songs, like Stephen Sondheim's "Not While I'm Around" from Sweeney Todd, come out sounding a bit bland. But among the best is "Orange Blossoms in Summertime," based on a Curtis Lundy tune, during which Elling executes a harmonized ensemble passage with the horns and holds a climactic long note at the end. Other highlights include the bouncy 6/8 take on "Easy Living" and the drum-and-vocal opening of "I'm Through With Love." While Flirting With Twilight lacks the breadth of a record like The Messenger, it's still a worthy statement from Elling, who shows yet again that vocal jazz can be more than just easy listening. The U.S. release contains a hidden track, the old Marlene Dietrich vehicle "Je Tire Ma Révérence," which Elling sings in French, backed only by Marc Johnson.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/28/2001
  • Label: Blue Note Records
  • UPC: 724353111328
  • Catalog Number: 31113
  • Sales rank: 163,936

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Moonlight Serenade (4:22)
  2. 2 Detour Ahead (5:34)
  3. 3 You Don't Know What Love Is (5:36)
  4. 4 Orange Blossoms In Summertime (6:33)
  5. 5 Not While I'm Around (6:26)
  6. 6 Easy Living (5:22)
  7. 7 Lil' Darlin' (5:40)
  8. 8 I Get Along Without You Very Well (3:37)
  9. 9 Blame It On My Youth (3:27)
  10. 10 I'm Thru With Love (4:57)
  11. 11 Say It (4:57)
  12. 12 While You Are Mine (7:46)
  13. 13 [Untitled Track] (0:04)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Kurt Elling Primary Artist, Vocals
Peter Erskine Drums
Marc Johnson Bass
Bob Sheppard Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Clay Jenkins Trumpet
Jeff Clayton Alto Saxophone
Bob Shepard Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Laurence Hobgood Piano
Technical Credits
Herb Ellis Composer
Jimmy McHugh Composer
Frank Loesser Composer
Gene DePaul Composer
Johnny Frigo Composer
John Hendrickson Engineer
Don Raye Composer
Doug Sax Mastering
Al Schmitt Engineer
Bill Traut Producer
Kurt Elling Arranger, Producer, Art Direction
Zan Stewart Liner Notes
Laurence Hobgood Arranger, Producer
John Fraser Collage
Lou Carter Composer
John Freigo Composer
Robert Hadley Mastering
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    KE does it again!

    Unfortenetly I had to wait a couple days before I could get my hands on this CD. I saw Elling's quartet a couple of weeks ago in VA. The show was superb. Listing to this CD was great primarily because of the horn section arrangements. Kudos to Hobgood. My favorite cuts are Orange Blossoms... & Easy Living. Nothing compares to his live performances and after Live in Chicago, I was unsure if I would ''feel'' a studio CD. But his smooth vocals and wonderful arrangements make this CD a ''MUST HAVE'' if you like jazz.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews