Sunday, August 16, 2009

Jazz Brunch Jam - All Or Nothing At All

I'm going to admit that when I first laid my eyes on Dedicated To You, the image of Kurt Elling on the front made me a little hesitant to give the album a chance. Thoughts that ran through my head: is this guy for real?, is he going for schmaltzy there?, c'mon now there's only one Sinatra!, didn't they already break the mold for male crooners?...

Seriously, I must have looked at it a half dozen times, each time putting it back in my pile of maybe CDs. When I finally got over the hurdle and played it though, I was blown away. The album is a collection of songs all recorded live at the Lincoln Center in NYC, and opens with All Or Nothing At All, a CLASSIC tune from Frank Sinatra's earliest days as a performer, and although recorded by many artists since, of course his version is the one that plays in my head as I prepared to listen to Elling's interpretation. Amazingly, it doesn't disapoint, in fact his fresh arrangement of the song breathes new life into the tune, and this observation holds true for the album as a whole. Songs you might know by heart to the second appear here as if with a new guise. Songs you don't know will be doubly new for you.

And Elling, well he lives up to the persona that he exudes on the cover. What first appears as a costume turns out to be genuine. He's got the voice to match the job. Compare below.

Visit his website, his label Concord Records, and become his friend on MySpace.

1 comment:

Alex said...

Kurt is the business, and resemblances to supper club singers are only superficial ... try this guy too, from London, doing All Or Nothing At All:

Cheers, Alex