Kurt Elling — „SuperBlue“ (Oct. 8, 2021)

US flag                                                                                           Kurt Elling — „SuperBlue“ (Oct. 8, 2021)
★⊇★ SuperBlue je funk a beaty nabitá deska, na kterou můžete tančit. Buď to, nebo můžete stát v rohu a dekódovat hipsterský humor („Jste cihlový dům nebo cihla?“) A slovní hříčky („Manic Panic Epiphanic“).
★⊇★ „... posunul umění jazzového zpěvu více než kterýkoli jiný mužský interpret své generace.“ — BBC ARTS
★⊇★ Jeho 16. album jako leadera. Jinak působí na dalších 25 albech (Brad Mehldau, Lee Ritenour, Renée Fleming, Charlie Hunter, Yellowjackets, Bob Belden, John Pizzarelli, George Freeman, Branford Marsalis, etc.). Poté, co v březnu 2021 získal svou druhou cenu GRAMMY (a 14. nominaci), proteanský zpěvák Kurt Elling zavěsil s „SuperBlue“ pro Edition Records nečekanou zatáčku doleva. Je to proud bujarého funku, nesmazatelných beatů a příliš aktuálních textů, které se pyšní talentem producenta~kytaristy Charlieho Huntera a dvou hvězd hip~hopové generace: bubeníka Corey Fonvillea a basisty~klávesisty DJ Harrisona (skupina Butcher Brown). Elling byl vždy mistrem groovů, počínaje be~bopem přes čistý pop a progresivní jazz až po neo~soul, ale nikdy nezaplnil album takovými groovy.
Born: November 2, 1967 in Chicago, IL
Location: Rockford in Winnebago County, Illinois ~ moved to New York in 2008
Album release: Oct. 8, 2021
Record Label: Edition Records 
Duration:     48:41
01. SuperBlue   4:45    
02. Sassy   4:18    
03. Manic Panic Epiphanic   5:29    
04. Where to Find It   4:51    
05. Can’t Make It with Your Brain   5:49        
06. The Seed   4:23    
07. Dharma Bums   5:59    
08. Circus   4:56    
09. Endless Lawns   6:54    
10. This Is How We Do   1:17Kurt Elling, APPROVED
Cheryl Bentyne    Composer, Lyricist
Carla Bley    Composer
Bill Bodine    Composer
Kathleen Brennan    Text
Cody Chestnutt    Composer, Lyricist
DJ Harrison    Composer, Keyboards, Producer
Kurt Elling    Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Voices
Bryan Farina    Executive Producer
Corey Fonville    Composer, Drums, Percussion, Producer
Phil Galdston    Composer, Lyricist
Charlie Hunter    Composer, Hybrid Guitar, Producer
Benard Ingher    Composer
Judith Minty    Composer, Lyricist, Soloist
Wayne Shorter    Composer
Janis Siegel    Composer, Lyricist
Dave Stapleton    Executive Producer
Chase Twichell    Composer, Lyricist, Poetry, Soloist
Tom Waits    Text
Instrumental Tracking by DJ Harrison at Jellowstone RVA. 10/19/20~10/21/20 & 11/22/20~11/24/20
Vocal Tracking by Anthony Gravino at High Cross Sound 2/1/21~2/13/21
SuperBlue Review by Matt Collar⌋ Score: ★★★★ 
∫  A collaboration with guitarist Charlie Hunter, SuperBlue finds vocalist Kurt Elling exploring a sophisticated funk and soul sound. Hunter, who plays here and also produced the album, is primarily known for his fusion~informed jazz and adventurous, funk~influenced projects like Garage a Trois. However, he has also made significant contributions to albums by forward~thinking neo~soul and R&B artists, including D’Angelo and Frank Ocean. It’s this deep grasp of those funky, groove~oriented vibes that he brings to his work with Elling on SuperBlue. Also contributing are Butcher Brown bandmates drummer Corey Fonville and bassist~keyboardist DJ Harrison, who bring their own hip~hop sensibilities to the proceedings. The ensemble initially began sharing tracks and musical ideas online while in quarantine due to the COVID~19 pandemic. Eventually, Elling and Hunter met up in an Illinois barn turned studio to add vocals and guitar to the arrangements. Despite the implied difficulty of the process, SuperBlue is one of Elling’s most sleek and relaxed recordings, bringing together some of the beat poetry~influenced spoken word of his early work with the warm, lyrical vocal swagger he’s known for.
∫  Cuts like the title track, “Manic Panic Epiphanies,” and “Can’t Make It with Your Brain” are fluidly engaging jams that marry Elling’s burnished lyrical flow with Hunter’s knack for kinetic grooves. We also get a dusky reworking of “Endless Lawns,” originally recorded on 2018’s The Questions. If the earlier version already evoked the romantic ’70s soul of Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway, this version magnifies the influence as Hunter frames Elling in slow~burning organ and supple bass accents.
∫  SuperBlue certainly straddles the line between electric jazz fusion and groove~based neo~soul, with a heavy leaning toward the latter. While there are some superb solo moments here from Hunter, not to mention dazzling sections of vocal gymnastics by Elling, the focus is less on post~bop improvisation and more on a song’s overall vibe. For Elling and Hunter, the choice feels purposeful and right for the funky, organic nature of these songs. SuperBlue is an ebullient and creative production that further underlines Elling’s dynamic and endlessly adaptable vocal skills, regardless of genre.
∫  https://www.allmusic.com/album/superblue-mw0003515798
Bio: https://www.allmusic.com/artist/kurt-elling-mn0000777054
WEB: https://kurtelling.com/
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Label: https://editionrecords.com/releases/kurt-elling-superblue/