Man in the Air
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Man In The Air marque un changement de direction dans la carrière de Kurt Elling. Le chanteur ne se contente plus de plaquer des mots sur de grands solos de jazz. Il écrit des histoires, des textes qui collent aux musiques qu'il aime et chante leurs mélodies. Dans le même temps, Elling adopte un chant moins technique afin de rendre sa voix plus naturelle et la rapprocher des mots qu'il invente et qu'il rythme. Si sa reprise de "Minuano" de Pat Metheny apparaît comme un tour de force, d'autres titres empruntés à John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock et Joe Zawinul, plus étoffés sur un plan orchestral, semblent mieux réussis. Car la voix d'Elling, une belle et claire voix de ténor, s'exprime un peu trop dans le même registre. Elling l'a bien compris et accorde plus de place aux musiciens qui l'entourent. Outre le fidèle Laurence Hobgood au piano et au Fender Rhodes, le saxophone soprano de Jim Gailloreto confère une couleur particulièrement bienvenue à la musique, tout comme le vibraphone de Stefon Harris dont l'élégance profite à l'ensemble de l'album, l'un des meilleurs d'Elling à ce jour. --Pierre de Chocqueuse
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Top Customer Reviews
Yet I was in Karibu books in Bowie, MD and I heard the track "Resolution" from this CD. I was immediately taken with Kurt's art, and I am in the process of acquiring all of his other CDs. "Man In the Air" was the first one I purchased and I was blown away.
Kurt is an amazing musician first and foremost. He has dead on pitch and the chops to tackle tricky intervals and demanding material. He sings Coltrane's solo to "Resolution" and adds a fresh slant to a classic 'Trane solo. There are countless other beautiful moments on this CD. "Winelight" is a gentle nod at the classic version by Grover Washington. "Time To say Goodbye" is a tender rendition of the Weather Report with Jaco Pastorius classic. "Hidden Jewel" is an ecletic choice of a cover; it's a tune by Bobby Watson.
Kurt Elling is a capable postmodern jazz musician who uses his chops to tackle the repertoire while staying personal and true to himself.
What vaulted this album to 5 star status for me, however, is the romantic, inclusive spirituality of this album. Minuano is a multilayered tale of a woman's longing for a lover?/God?/guru?. And Elling's lyrics to Resolution become a call to praise and worship all gods. Not all listeners will appreciate explicit spiritual expression with their jazz, but I find this to be a risky genuine expression of a musician who is willing to show us his core.Read more ›
I find that some people who have listened to 'Live in Chicago' are not too keen initially on 'Flirting With Twilight' and 'Man In The Air'. 'Live in Chicago' has an energy that gives it a crossover appeal, but jazz lovers will appreciate that different albums have different moods and energies. Sit and listen to each album on it's own merit and you will appreciate what Kurt has done. He's not an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" artist. Kurt constantly raises the bar. Let's hope he never rests on his laurels like other artists have.
Just want to say that, even in the Caribbean, Kurt has fans. I saw him a few years back on 'BET on Jazz'. Five minutes of listening, and I was hooked. I'm hoping that he will eventually be invited to the Barbados Jazz Festival, but failing that...I think I'll have to find my way up to Chicago to hear him live.
Yes, for me, he's THAT good!
1. Minuano vocal version. Originally a Pat Metheny composition, Elling spins some beautiful lyrical magic with a very deep subject matter of love and anticipation. The 6/8 feel is a relaxing trip for the ear, and the harmonies are superb. The solos by saxophonist, Brad Wheeler, and Elling collaborator and pianist, Laurence Hobgood, are of the highest caliber. It also nice to see the guest appearance of Paul Wertico, Elling's original drummer who was on the original recording with Metheny. On a side note, I was at the release concert and Elling opened with this piece. It was perfect. Harmonies and all.
2. In The Winelight. This is probity the most groovin' piece on the record. Enter Stefon Harris on the vibes complimenting Elling lyric to this Grover Washington hit, Winelight, from his side of the name.Read more ›
In truth, jazz is one of the only genres of music that can afford to use silly lyrics, without sounding premature or overly unserious. The obvious rhyme of kathmandu and timbuktu may seem banal if heard alone in the chorus, but anyone who chooses to comment on the lyrics of a song must listen to the lyrics in their specific context. Kurt obviously explores all facets of human experience: admiration, desire, imagination --which leads to metaphor upon metaphor, then hope, then realisation of love, then, then the determination to capture the unrequited love, more hope, and finally the culmination of love discovered.
Nothing personal Ken, but try listening to Minuano along with the rest of the lyrics. It is a masterpiece poem...and Man in the Air is a wonderful compendium of soul grub.
Most recent customer reviews
The Best of Elling....his covers are smooth as syrup.
"Man In The Air"
Sounds good often, but man, if you want to tell me about how it feels to find God, you have to balence the message with a much hipper tone than is happening here.Published on July 6 2004 by .
This Time It's Love was KE's best album to date because it showcased him as a great singer of songs, and cut back on the corny side of jazz-hands vocalese nonsense that is... Read morePublished on Feb. 25 2004 by B. Stonis
It took me two seconds to feel the magic of this album. My friends at Govenors State gave me sh-t about praising this record cause it wasn't like his previous one. F-ck em! Read morePublished on Jan. 15 2004 by Daniel Freund
I had heard of Kurt Elling, but never actually HEARD him. Happened to run into a song by him on internet radio. Was blown away by his phrasing, smoothness. Read morePublished on Nov. 25 2003
The only thing I would say is missing is a little more "swing" stuff; other than that, it's Kurt's best. Read morePublished on Sept. 25 2003 by Dale
As a lifelong Chicagoan and as a person who has heard jazz constantly from local stars and family alike, I have been a Kurt Elling fan since his 1st CD in 1995. Read morePublished on Aug. 15 2003 by Shadasious
I dunno. This isn't it. But it's close. Having played "Twilight" nearly every day since I bought it a year ago and having purchased all of his albums (obviously out of... Read morePublished on Aug. 8 2003