One of today's elite and most creative jazz vocalists, Kurt Elling has amassed an astounding run of 10 Grammy-nominated albums that began with his debut. The Chicago native, known for his dynamic baritone and poetic lyricism, has shown his adventurousness when selecting covers, from standards such as "I Only Have Eyes for You" to takes on The Beatles, King Crimson and Earth, Wind & Fire. Though he's well-versed in the uncommon art of vocalese, a method of jazz singing atop improvised soloing, Elling sounds at home on more conventional performances, too. Regardless of format, he consistently showcases an impressive command of his four-octave range.
Pianist Laurence Hobgood, guitarist John McLean, bassist Clark Sommers and drummer Kendrick Scott round out his quintet; the instrumentalists have a laundry list of credits with some of the finest names in modern jazz and blues—Gary Burton, Pat Matheny, Clark Terry and Buddy Guy, among others. Here, they provide the supple canvas upon which Elling paints. —Spencer Griffith