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101: Kurt Elling, “Li’l Darlin'”

I think 43-year old Kurt Elling is the finest male jazz singer ever. So you can imagine my pleasure at having the opportunity recently to take him and his band up to Jerusalem to visit some incredible sites in the Old City. Along the way we had an in-depth discussion about jazz singing and jazz singers, then in the evening I saw a bang-up show. Here’s a long article describing that exceptional day.
https://www.jmeshel.com//?p=2169
In Song of The Week, I compare Kurt’s version of Count Basie’s “Li’l Darlin'” with that of his musical mentor Mark Murphy, explaining why I think this young man is the best. Ever.

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Going Up to Jerusalem with Kurt Elling

June 5, 2011 The Fantasy Perhaps a person can be defined by his fantasies. There was a time when my wildest dream would have been Petula Clark asking me to come up to see her etchings. And there was a time when it was Phil Jackson asking me for advice on defensive strategy. And for […]

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100: Luciana Souza, ‘Chorinho Pra Ele’ (“Brazilian Duos”)

Luciana Souza recorded two albums of traditional Brazilian popular music accompanied by a single guitar. She’s consummate artist, relying neither on gimmicks nor on sex appeal, but on a refined, passionate, soulful aesthetic. Listen to her singing ‘Chorinho Pra Ele’. If you aren’t charmed out of your chair, you’re either dead or shouldn’t be listening to music.

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088: Lizz Wright, ‘Old Man’

Here’s a gift — Lizz Wright’s cover of a typically shallow and affected and annoying Neil Young junker. Her treatment reeks of rural Georgia blues gone west via Memphis to be reborn in an LA studio. It displays a harmonic and hormonic candor that’s charged with enough electricity to frizzle your synapses, guys.

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083: Ezio Pinza, ‘Some Enchanted Evening’ (“South Pacific”)

Several regular readers of SoTW were gracious enough to write and ask why there were no postings for the last two weeks. The reason is that I went to the Old Country to bury my mother. I’m back, and I can’t say it’s easy to talk about music. I’m in a very dark and depressed place, as those of you who have been through this will understand, with no taste for mirth or fun or entertainment. Not even for music.
But in the five days since I’ve returned from the proscribed mourning period, I’ve been reluctantly thrown back into the Musical mode.
In September, I joined the Light Opera Group of the Negev for their annual production, which this year is Rogers & Hammerstein’s “South Pacific“. I’ll be playing Emile de Becque, the male lead…

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Nikki Yanofsky

An article by Jeff Meshel for the Jerusalem Report, Dec 10, 2010 about the very charming and very talented (and very young) Nikki Yanofsky. Following it are some great pictures by David Rubin.

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071: Lyy, ‘Giftavisan’

Väsen, Ranarim, Garmarna. Huh? Gjallarhorn, Hedningarna, Hoven Droven, Lyy? WTF?? Put on your fleece parkas, folks. This week we’re going to take a little jaunt up to the lands of the North, to make the acquaintance of some very hot music from a very cold place, Nordic Roots music, or Scandinavian neo-folk. Ice also burns. […]

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068: Hermeto Pascoal, ‘Santa Catarina’

Hermeto Pasocal is a 78-year old albino Brazilian sorcerer who makes music from gargling water and processing football commentators, as well as from more conventional sources, like the bass harmonica and the voice of his 30something wife. Miles Davis called him “the most impressive musician in the world”.

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