SuperBlue: Kurt Elling feat. Charlie Hunter
The last time Kurt Elling guested as a main artist at Moldejazz was to a sold-out Teatret Vårt together with Molde's own Silje Nergaard in 2015. The following year he performed as a guest artist with the Branford Marsalis Quartet. In 2023 he returns and as one of the most versatile jazz vocalists we know of, we are very excited to see where he will take us this time. Where are you marching, Kurt?
Kurt quo vadis?
Many know the baritone Kurt Elling as the extension of an extended crooner tradition, where references to Frank Sinatra, Johnny Hartman and Tony Bennett are as natural as to Al Jearreau and Bobby McFerrin.
With his vocal resilience and expressive range, and a voice that spans four octaves, he has navigated between art and popular music territories with the greatest naturalness, and at the same time prepared the ground for slightly more polished artists such as Jamie Cullum. It is perhaps not surprising that he has been nominated for a Grammy several times - and won.
It comes as no surprise that Elling has a complex musical background. Raised in the church, where he sang Bach motets and madrigals in a classical vocal style, to technically demanding a capella and private studies of, among others, Chet Baker's muted closeness as well as other instrumentalists such as Dave Brubeck and Dexter Gordon contributed to Elling being a versatile musician early on. In addition to interpreting popular standard songs and writing his own material, he has been particularly good at continuing the scat tradition and writing so-called vocalisations - that is, composing lyrics for songs that have only been instrumental.
As a musical chameleon, Elling may have been difficult to place, and thus became the object of both fascination and provocation. There IS something about Kurt, something that is difficult to place, and which continues to make us curios. He is undeniably a respected performer, and has collaborated with greats such as Fred Hersch, James Morrison, Brad Mehldau, and Lee Ritenour, to name a few.
Kurt Elling - vocals, Charlie Hunter - guitar, TBA - Keys, TBA – drums