ABOUT KURT ELLING //
Renowned for his singular combination of robust swing and poetic insight, GRAMMY winner Kurt Elling has secured his place among the world’s foremost jazz vocalists. Declared “the standout male vocalist of our time” by The New York Times, Elling has garnered unprecedented accolades, including a fourteen-year run atop the DownBeat Critics Poll, a dozen GRAMMY nominations, and eight Jazz Journalists Association awards for “Male Singer of the Year.”
Elling’s voice is instantly recognizable, embracing listeners with his warm, rich baritone and navigating the full span of his four-octave range as a virtuoso instrumentalist and a compelling storyteller. Whether transforming timeless standards or crafting his own enthralling originals, Elling balances elegant lyricism and technical mastery with wry humor, emotional depth, and keen observations into the human condition.
“Elling combines authenticity with stunning originality,” is how The Wall Street Journal describes his talents, while The Guardian has called him “a kind of Sinatra with superpowers.” The Toronto Star has gone so far as to say that “Kurt Elling is the closest jazz will ever get to having its own saint,” while The Guardian makes up one voice in a chorus calling him “one of jazz’s all-time great vocalists.”
Elling’s most recent release, The Questions, vividly exemplifies his ability to respond to the world around him with both urgent immediacy and a unique perspective. Co-produced by NEA Jazz Master and acclaimed saxophonist Branford Marsalis, the album searches for answers to the culture’s most divisive social, political and spiritual issues in the songs of Bob Dylan, Carla Bley and Leonard Bernstein, and the poetry of Rumi and Wallace Stevens. Elling had previously joined Marsalis and his long-running Quartet for 2016’s GRAMMY-nominated Upward Spiral, which All About Jazz hailed as “suffused with graciousness, beauty, and, on occasion, heartbreak.”
Taking the long view of Elling’s audacious and richly varied career, the Washington Post lauded, “Since the mid-1990s, no singer in jazz has been as daring, dynamic or interesting as Kurt Elling. With his soaring vocal flights, his edgy lyrics and sense of being on a musical mission, he has come to embody the creative spirit in jazz.”
NEW ALBUM ‘SECRETS ARE THE BEST STORIES’ //
Secrets Are The Best Stories is the new album from acclaimed vocalist and Grammy-winning artist Kurt Elling featuring renowned pianist Danilo Pérez. Edition Records is delighted to provide the support and artistic freedom for Kurt to pursue his goals while placing artistry and integrity at the forefront. Secrets Are The Best Stories is set to be a career-defining album for Kurt, confirming his trajectory on a new and evolving path of artistic excellence, and further exploring the passion and the messages, political, personal, that inspire him.
Here, Elling adds evocative new lyrics to compositions by greats like Pérez’s iconic collaborator Wayne Shorter, late fusion bass genius Jaco Pastorius, and visionary composer/arranger Vince Mendoza, and to pieces from Pérez’s own catalogue. Along with his own compelling narratives, Elling adapts the works of contemporary poets Franz Wright and Robert Bly, the 19th century abolitionist poet Frances E.W. Harper and Nobel-winning author Toni Morrison.
His previous album The Questions, released in 2018, explored important messages about social and political issues. The Questions was undoubtedly a learning experience from which Elling never expected to find definitive answers. And yet some things have become clearer to him. Elling’s continued search for what is hidden and what is unearthed is reflected in the title, Secrets Are The Best Stories – an insight gleaned from one of his daughter’s childhood friends, whose naïve wisdom recognised the deeper beauty in games of hide-and-seek. With Secrets Are The Best Stories, Kurt has further developed his protest voice to communicate his impassioned artistic reaction to the vital issues of our time: human rights, immigration and climate change. On this album he demonstrates the artist’s ability to respond, which he does with command and virtuosity, and integrity.
Secrets Are The Best Stories will be released on 3rd April 2020 on Edition Records – read more here