Kurt Elling does many things that have to be heard to be believed. The first note he sang on the opening number here, Joe Jackson’s Stepping Out, was one.
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Elling is a musician whose instrument happens to be his voice and he’s a singer whose choral music training and deep immersion in jazz’s traditions give him control, fluidity, real deal credibility and gobsmacking improvisatory impact. With SNJO at their classy, sumptuous best and individually creative whenever opportunity arose, the highlights arrived by conveyer belt. Resolution was one; King Crimson’s contrastingly calm, deliciously swooping Matte Kudasai another. That doesn’t stop me playing Oliver Twist, though. Please, sir, can we have some more?