Kurt Elling, "Dedicated To You: Kurt Elling Sings The Music Of Coltrane And Hartman)
Kurt Elling has never shied away from a challenge-the nimble singer has carved a unique place for himself in the jazz pantheon, with a signature sound that cunningly combines blues, ballads and beat-inspired poetry. On his eighth outing as a leader (and his second for Concord), Elling ups his game once again with a lush, live tribute to the music made famous by the legendary duo of saxophonist John Coltrane and singer Johnny Hartman. With masterful, moving string arrangements by longtime Elling pianist Laurence Hobgood, and some of saxophonist Ernie Watts' most compelling playing to date, Elling meets the formidable task of transforming these seminal songs head-on. From his pitch-perfect opening on the rhumba-fied "All or Nothing at All" to his fresh take on Billy Strayhorn's "Lush Life," the album is a moving tribute to legends lost and a portrait of a gifted artist in his own right at the peak of his creative powers.