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The Gate

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iTunes Review

Vocalist Kurt Elling’s The Gate, produced by Don Was, impresses in a number of ways. There’s the breadth of the material: how many jazz singers cover King Crimson, Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder and a standard like “After the Love Has Gone” on the same release? The backup musicians — including pianist Laurence Hobgood, guitarist John McLean, tenor saxophonist Bob Mintzer, bassist John Patitucci, and drummer Terreon Gulley — are all finely attuned to the singer. And then there’s Elling’s voice, a lovely baritone with piercing high notes. He wields this instrument with grace and restraint and manages to tastefully incorporate the influence of R&B. Elling sounds right at home on Joe Jackson’s “Steppin’ Out,” a song whose sass and swing fits him like a well-tailored suit. “Matte Kudasai” feels more like an R&B slow jam than an early-’80s song written by English prog-rockers King Crimson, while “Samurai Cowboy” features word-packed phrases unfolding over spare accompaniment and a simple groove. “Nighttown, Lady Bright” finds Elling in spoken-word mode when he isn’t bringing fine vocal tone to the melody’s sustained notes.

Customer Reviews

The best in the business!

Kurt Elling looks at a piece of art and sees even more. His interpretations of Steppin' Out (Joe Jackson), Norwegian Wood (the Beatles), Golden Lady (Steve Wonder) and After the Love Has Gone (Earth, Wind and Fire) seem original because Kurt adds another face the songs, so to speak. The songs' lyrics take on a new meaning when delivered via Kurt Elling's wonderful instrument. Props to Laurence Hopgood as well for the great work on the piano. To me, Norwegian Wood is out of this world. It's among my favorites on this album. Overall this is a great album from Kurt Elling but nothing beats listening to him live.

Heard for the VERY 1ST TIME today!!!!!!

I'm in ♥!!! I'm glad I was late to work because I heard this on the KCRW at about 11:40 this morning. I was like, "Who is THAT???" Did some online research and am sold. Kurt Elling's musicality is out of this world. Can't wait for many hours of listening pleasure with this wonderful man. :)

"Oh Kurt"!

I just absolutely love kurt Elling. This CD is wonderful. Interesting interpretation of EWF's After the Love is Gone. His voice is so mellow, just blows me away. As always, superb cast of musicians. I so love his pianist Lawrence Hobgood. I'm looking forward to maybe trying ti see him in person this year, when he comes back to the Washington D.C area.


Born: November 2, 1967 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

An adept singer with a lithe, highly resonant baritone voice and four-octave range, Kurt Elling has garnered abundant critical praise and numerous accolades for his distinctive brand of vocal jazz. Given the depth and broad vision of his recordings and performance style, Elling is in a league of his own. Planning a career in the academic world, he discovered jazz and took to it naturally. Deeply influenced by singer and poet Mark Murphy, Elling began to develop his idiosyncratic scat style in the...
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The Gate, Kurt Elling
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