Nightmoves

( 3 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
When Kurt Elling issued Man in the Air on the Blue Note label in 2003, it showcased his expansive, dream-weaving stage persona, though the album was recorded in the studio. Nightmoves arrives in the--hopefully--greener pastures of the Concord kingdom, and has been both directing and hosting festivals and performing like crazy. For a guy who is as busy as he is, there's no doubt he has also been working on expanding his particular gift with discipline and breathtaking adventure. For starters, there is a wider array of musicians on Nightmoves. Along with longtime pianist Laurence Hobgood (an underrated and underappreciated artist of high order), players like Bob Mintzer, ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
When Kurt Elling issued Man in the Air on the Blue Note label in 2003, it showcased his expansive, dream-weaving stage persona, though the album was recorded in the studio. Nightmoves arrives in the--hopefully--greener pastures of the Concord kingdom, and has been both directing and hosting festivals and performing like crazy. For a guy who is as busy as he is, there's no doubt he has also been working on expanding his particular gift with discipline and breathtaking adventure. For starters, there is a wider array of musicians on Nightmoves. Along with longtime pianist Laurence Hobgood (an underrated and underappreciated artist of high order), players like Bob Mintzer, Christian McBride, Rob Mounsey, Willie Jones III, the Escher String Quartet, Rob Amster, Guilherme Monteiro, and Grégoire Maret are here, assisting in this ambitious set of tunes in all manner of configurations, from duet to septet. The title cut, written by Michael Franks, opens the set, with Mintzer on tenor and a pair of pianists in Hobgood on acoustic and arranger Rob Mounsey on electric, with Jones and McBride serving as the rhythm section guides. Elling keeps all the gorgeous mystery of the original and deepens it as he more assertively states the lyrics. He's got soul, blues, and the grain of the jazzman in his vocal. Hobgood underscores every line while Mounsey adds depth and dimension to the tune atmospherically, and Mintzer's solo is brief but full of the deep blues. There is a weave at work here that Elling follows in Betty Carter's "Tight." And it is. The notion of song gets stretched to the point of breakage here, and rhythmic interplay happens between Elling and the band. While keeping Carter's tune's integrity, he also pushes the lines to slip into the circular beat provided by Jones. McBride's arrangement is a swinging hard bop delight. The sense of freedom in Carter's original is captured in Elling's solo. There is a gorgeous nocturnal smoke-and-fog medley of Irving Berlin's "Change Partners" and Antonio Carlos Jobim's "If You Never Come to Me." Howard Levy adds some painterly harmonica to the tune's frame, and the band -- courtesy of Hobgood's subtle and moving arrangement -- plays to Elling's strength. The sense of longing and heartache is evident from outside the lyric; it comes from the pit of the belly and speaks its need before Monteiro's acoustic guitar introduces the Jobim song. Elling slips right into that rhythmic change, extending the story of the original, speaking under the gentle breeze and night sky. There is another medley here as well: Keith Jarrett's "Leaving Again" woven into the Mann and Hilliard tune (and Frank Sinatra classic) "In the Wee Small Hours." Elling extrapolated -- via transcription most likely -- Jarrett's original improvisation (and his extra lines in the latter tune) and wrote a vocal and lyrics for it. The performance is full of surprise and delight. Listeners will have to discover that one for themselves. One of the greatest surprises here is in Elling's reading of Randy Bachman's (of Bachman-Turner Overdrive and the Guess Who, the latter band having recorded the original) pop hit "Undun" (better known as "She's Come Undun"). The tune is transformed with help from Mounsey's arrangement. It always had a jazz backdrop, and Elling and his pals pull it over the line. The man croons and startles with the raw emotion in his voice, as Hobgood's fills offer support for the sense of drama in Elling's voice. Mintzer enters and plays between the lines and through them. Elling just seems to climb with the intensity of the band and goes over the top. Elling's composition of a song to Theodore Roethke's poem is a deeply moving duet between his voice and Amster's bass. His full range is at work here, but the feel is effortless, spiritual, dreamy, shimmering. This track offers the complete evidence of this vocalist's true gift. The set ends with a reading of Duke Ellington's "I Like the Sunrise." Backed by a trio of Hobgood, Amster, and Jones, the reverence the singer feels for the tune is evident from the moment he opens his mouth. This is a gospel song in Elling's voice, with a vocalese performance that is as moving and on the money as anyone has ever delivered. The lyric is adapted from Rumi, and Ellington's melody is in perfect balance with the lyric and rhythm. It's simply inspiring. After Man in the Air it was difficult to imagine Elling expanding further on his spirit of song. But on Nightmoves, he has not only met but exceeded all expectations. This CD was nominated for a Grammy award in 2007 for Best Jazz Vocal Album.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/3/2007
  • Label: Concord Records
  • UPC: 888072301382
  • Catalog Number: 30138
  • Sales rank: 7,875

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Kurt Elling Primary Artist, Vocals
Bob Mintzer Tenor Saxophone
Rob Mounsey Keyboards, Electric Piano
Rob Amster Bass
Howard Levy Harmonica
Christian McBride Bass
Laurence Hobgood Piano
Willie Jones III Drums, Shaker
Grégoire Maret Harmonica
Guilherme Monteiro Guitar
Adam Barnett-Hart Violin, Group Member
Andrew Janns Cello, Group Member
Wu Jie Violin, Group Member
Escher String Quartet Strings
Pierre Lapointe Viola, Group Member
Technical Credits
Irving Berlin Composer
Betty Carter Composer
Michael Franks Composer
Keith Jarrett Composer
Rob Mounsey Arranger
Jimmy McHugh Composer
Randy Bachman Composer
Theodore Roethke Composer
Rob Amster Composer
Joe Chiccarelli Producer, Audio Production
Duke Ellington Composer
Chris Dunn Executive Producer
Phil Galdston Composer
Edward Heyman Composer
Bob Hilliard Composer
Antonio Carlos Jobim Composer
Christian McBride Arranger
Dave O'Donnell Engineer
Alan Pasqua Composer
Doug Sax Mastering
May Ann Topper Executive Producer
Kurt Elling Composer, Producer, Audio Production
Howard Mandel Liner Notes
Laurence Hobgood Arranger, Producer, String Arrangements
Craig Bauer Engineer
Ray Gilbert Composer
Abbey Anna Art Direction
Robert Sour Composer
Harold Adamson Composer
Frank Eyton Composer
Luis Chaves DeOliveira Composer
Seth Presant Pro-Tools
Andrew Pham Art Direction
James Auwarter Engineer, Pro-Tools
Sanwook "Sunny" Nam Mastering
Losi grooming
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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(3)

4 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Elling offers a profound jazz experience

    I first sought out Kurt Elling after hearing his deep chocolate tones in a compilation album. "Nighmoves" delivers this vocalist's full range of vocal excellence through brilliant arrangements and gifted musicians. The depth of the lyrics, often derived from poetry, draw the listener into the musical mood of each piece. I was compelled to sit down to read the liner notes, which are brilliant, and soak in each velvety track. Soothing, soul searching, musically rich...it's all good, real good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Kurt Elling represents jazz as the most interpretative and soulful artist

    Having followed Kurt Elling's career with avid devotion, I always look forward to new releases, and Night Moves is again a very rewarding experience. The arrangements are stimulating, some soothing and with his vocal application a real smart combination. I have played this collection several times for friends and family at small gatherings and parties, and each time there is someone who has not yet experienced Kurt's abilities and they are simply impressed! I continue to play all his prior albums and will anticipate future releases.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews