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Kurt Elling|SuperBlue: The Iridescent Spree

SuperBlue: The Iridescent Spree

Kurt Elling, Charlie Hunter & SuperBlue

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Singers need contexts for their voices. For Kurt Elling, that search led to 2021's SuperBlue. On this second collaboration with the same players—guitarist/funkateer Charlie Hunter and a rhythm section of drummer Corey Fonville and keyboardist DJ Harrison—Elling has widened and deepened the sweet spot he found on SuperBlue. Recorded live in the studio by engineer Adrian Olson in Montrose Recording in Richmond, Virginia, The Iridescent Spree's loose synth funk imparts plenty of room for Elling to exercise his hipster urges proves to be a perfect vehicle for his talky chatter. Part of why this works so well is that Elling has learned the art of adding lyrics to music that was previously instrumental-only. That skill comes to an amazing pinnacle in the sad tale of prostitution he spins out in a version of Ornette Coleman's "Only the Lonely Woman" ("Once she was beloved/ No pauper/ She was somebody's daughter/ Ruin caught her unaware/ Now she cries heartache/ She's just a lonely woman/ Hollowed out despair." A related and very creative addition is his version of "Naughty Number Nine" from Schoolhouse Rock! (written by Bob Dorough, who was one of the few singers to ever appear on a Miles Davis album). Charlie Hunter's original "A Song for Karen Carpenter" appears as "Little Fairy Carpenter" with lyrics by Elling. Set to a slow beat, his deliberately sedated delivery, drawing out every word as his voice rises, gives the choruses a dreamy edge: "The hourglass sands / Have run through your hands/ Your deadline calls you to fold or expand." "Bounce," by innovative composer, drummer and Elling labelmate Nate Smith, here becomes the straight up math funk number "Bounce It," thanks to another set of the singer's lyrics that expertly conform to the angular rhythms of the tune: "Rim shot slap/ Spit and spank/ We dance 'n' dap/ And stank-a-lank/ And rank-a-tank." How Kurt got a groove on. © Robert Baird/Qobuz

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SuperBlue: The Iridescent Spree

Kurt Elling

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1
Black Crow
00:03:34

Dave McNair, MasteringEngineer - Joni Mitchell, Composer - Kurt Elling, Producer, MainArtist - Charlie Hunter, Producer, MainArtist - Superblue, MainArtist - Crazy Crow Music (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - DJ Harrison, Producer - Adrian Olsen, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer - Corey Fonville, Producer

(C) 2023 Edition Records (P) 2023 Edition Records

2
Freeman Square
00:05:14

Don Was, Composer - Phil Galdston, Lyricist - Dave McNair, MasteringEngineer - Kurt Elling, Lyricist, Producer, MainArtist - Charlie Hunter, Producer, MainArtist - Superblue, MainArtist - BMG Gold Songs (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - DJ Harrison, Producer - Adrian Olsen, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer - Corey Fonville, Producer - Kazzoom Music Inc. (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Scala Productions (BUMA), MusicPublisher - New Prescription Music (BMI) administered by Painted Desert Music, MusicPublisher

(C) 2023 Edition Records (P) 2023 Edition Records

3
Naughty Number Nine
00:03:13

Dave McNair, MasteringEngineer - Bob Dorough, Composer - Kurt Elling, Producer, MainArtist - Charlie Hunter, Producer, MainArtist - Dan White, MusicArranger - Superblue, MainArtist - DJ Harrison, Producer - Adrian Olsen, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer - American Broadcasting Music Inc. (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Corey Fonville, Producer - Huntertones, FeaturedArtist

(C) 2023 Edition Records (P) 2023 Edition Records

4
Little Fairy Carpenter
00:04:58

Dave McNair, MasteringEngineer - Kurt Elling, Lyricist, Producer, MainArtist - Charlie Hunter, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Superblue, MainArtist - DJ Harrison, Producer - Adrian Olsen, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer - Corey Fonville, Producer - CHT Music (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - New Prescription Music (BMI) administered by Painted Desert Music, MusicPublisher

(C) 2023 Edition Records (P) 2023 Edition Records

5
Bounce It
00:04:21

Nate Smith, Composer - Dave McNair, MasteringEngineer - Kurt Elling, Lyricist, Producer, MainArtist - Charlie Hunter, Producer, MainArtist - Dan White, MusicArranger - Superblue, MainArtist - DJ Harrison, Producer - Adrian Olsen, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer - Corey Fonville, Producer - Huntertones, FeaturedArtist - Penelope's Boudoir Music (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - New Prescription Music (BMI) administered by Painted Desert Music, MusicPublisher

(C) 2023 Edition Records (P) 2023 Edition Records

6
Only The Lonely Woman
00:05:38

Dave McNair, MasteringEngineer - Kurt Elling, Lyricist, Producer, MainArtist - Charlie Hunter, Producer, MainArtist - Ornette Coleman, Composer - Superblue, MainArtist - DJ Harrison, Producer - Adrian Olsen, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer - Corey Fonville, Producer - New Prescription Music (BMI) administered by Painted Desert Music, MusicPublisher - MJQ Music Inc (ASCAP), MusicPublisher

(C) 2023 Edition Records (P) 2023 Edition Records

7
Right About Now
00:04:07

Dave McNair, MasteringEngineer - Kurt Elling, Producer, MainArtist - Charlie Hunter, Producer, MainArtist - RON SEXSMITH, Composer - Superblue, MainArtist - DJ Harrison, Producer - Adrian Olsen, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer - Corey Fonville, Producer - Ronboy Rhymes (SOCAN), MusicPublisher

(C) 2023 Edition Records (P) 2023 Edition Records

8
Not Here / Not Now
00:04:15

Phil Galdston, Lyricist - Dave McNair, MasteringEngineer - Kurt Elling, Lyricist, Producer, MainArtist - Charlie Hunter, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Dan White, MusicArranger - Superblue, MainArtist - DJ Harrison, Composer, Producer - Adrian Olsen, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer - Corey Fonville, Composer, Producer - Vijay Tellis-Nayak, VocalEngineer - Huntertones, FeaturedArtist - CHT Music (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Corey Fonville (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - DJ Harrison (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Kazzoom Music Inc. (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - New Prescription Music (BMI) administered by Painted Desert Music, MusicPublisher

(C) 2023 Edition Records (P) 2023 Edition Records

9
The Afterlife
00:05:52

Dave McNair, MasteringEngineer - Kurt Elling, Producer, MainArtist - Charlie Hunter, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Superblue, MainArtist - Billy Collins, Author - DJ Harrison, Composer, Producer - Adrian Olsen, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer - Corey Fonville, Composer, Producer - CHT Music (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Corey Fonville (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - DJ Harrison (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - U. Pitt. Press, MusicPublisher

(C) 2023 Edition Records (P) 2023 Edition Records

Album review

Singers need contexts for their voices. For Kurt Elling, that search led to 2021's SuperBlue. On this second collaboration with the same players—guitarist/funkateer Charlie Hunter and a rhythm section of drummer Corey Fonville and keyboardist DJ Harrison—Elling has widened and deepened the sweet spot he found on SuperBlue. Recorded live in the studio by engineer Adrian Olson in Montrose Recording in Richmond, Virginia, The Iridescent Spree's loose synth funk imparts plenty of room for Elling to exercise his hipster urges proves to be a perfect vehicle for his talky chatter. Part of why this works so well is that Elling has learned the art of adding lyrics to music that was previously instrumental-only. That skill comes to an amazing pinnacle in the sad tale of prostitution he spins out in a version of Ornette Coleman's "Only the Lonely Woman" ("Once she was beloved/ No pauper/ She was somebody's daughter/ Ruin caught her unaware/ Now she cries heartache/ She's just a lonely woman/ Hollowed out despair." A related and very creative addition is his version of "Naughty Number Nine" from Schoolhouse Rock! (written by Bob Dorough, who was one of the few singers to ever appear on a Miles Davis album). Charlie Hunter's original "A Song for Karen Carpenter" appears as "Little Fairy Carpenter" with lyrics by Elling. Set to a slow beat, his deliberately sedated delivery, drawing out every word as his voice rises, gives the choruses a dreamy edge: "The hourglass sands / Have run through your hands/ Your deadline calls you to fold or expand." "Bounce," by innovative composer, drummer and Elling labelmate Nate Smith, here becomes the straight up math funk number "Bounce It," thanks to another set of the singer's lyrics that expertly conform to the angular rhythms of the tune: "Rim shot slap/ Spit and spank/ We dance 'n' dap/ And stank-a-lank/ And rank-a-tank." How Kurt got a groove on. © Robert Baird/Qobuz

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