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Man in the Air

4.5 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 29 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B00009V8VG
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #56,328 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Minuano
2. In The Winelight
3. Resolution
4. Time To Say Goodbye
5. The Uncertainty Of The Poet
6. The More I Have You
7. Man In The Air
8. A Secret I
9. Higher Vibe
10. Hidden Jewel
11. Never My Love
12. All Is Quiet

Product Description

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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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Kurt Elling's become a bit of a critics' darling. I've been wary of him due to my afrocentric aesthetics and my general aversion from vocalists [Betty Carter and Sarah Vaughan the principal exceptions].
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.
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Format: Audio CD
Beautiful work. Musically much better than 'Twilight' (though I think 'Twilight' is better lyrically) Standouts are 'Minuano', In the Winelight, 'Time to Say Goodbye'(unbelievably beautiful lyric), and 'Man In the Air'. Kurt continues to go from strength to strength.
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!
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Format: Audio CD
I'm back! Once again I'm here give my opinion of the latest side from..., the master. The great one. Kurt Elling. His new release, Man In The Air is beyond what anyone would have expected, and yet, to those who are hip to this swingin' cat's groove the was no element of surprise. We've all come to expect the unexpected with Kurt. I find this to be one of the hippest records in my collection. Kurt is back with the usual crew of hipsters. Laurence Hobgood on grand piano and Rhodes electric, Rob Amster on bass, and Frank Park on the Drums. Also featuring hip guests, Stefon Harris on vibes, Jim Gailloreto and Brad Wheeler on soprano saxophones, and Elling veteran Paul Wertico on the drums. What stands out most about this record is that 10 out of the 12 cuts have Elling as the lyricist. I could go on and on about this, but I know what you all want to hear. You the usual breakdown of the side and the cuts therein,
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.
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Format: Audio CD
The Previous review comments on the use of "Kathmandu" and "Timbukti" as though they undermine the Metheny/Elling piece, Minuano. This, in my opinion is an inaccuarate observation.
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.
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