Kurt Elling sings the music of John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman for his latest release, Dedicated To You, performed live at Lincoln Center in New York City for the concert halls American Songbook Series. Produced by Elling and Laurence Hobgood, the album takes the listener through the wondrous glades of soft jazz standards. Elling’s deep timbres are polished and preened and sink right into this repertoire enabling the instrumentation to swathe his vocals in sheets of flowy chiffon and gilded lame. The tunes have a palatial feel that makes them flow with a restful gait.
Elling handles every track with aplomb like these songs are part of his make-up, steep in his genes. He sings them like they are as familiar to him as a birthmark. He revels in the easy coasting sways of "Lush Life" and "Autumn Serenade," and nestles comfortably around the melodic folds of "My One And Only True Love" and "You Are Too Beautiful." He was born and bred to sing these songs and make them feel special for audiences. He immerses himself in the music like the way dolphins engulf their whole being in the softness of the ocean waves. This is Elling’s form of having fun and enjoying himself, and the pleasure is transposed onto the listener.
Kurt Elling has one style of singing and he is superb at it. They say, "Why fix something if it ain’t broken,’ and Elling is simply fine the way he is.