The ways in which passion is expressed in song vary from nation to nation, Kurt Elling maintains. Melody, language and style of expression are intimately connected and that's why he sings these 12 songs from around the world in their original languages, with his jazz style subtly adjusted, and joined by an international cast of guests. It's hard to imagine anyone else bringing this difficult feat off with such panache. The songs range from Bonita Cuba, featuring Cuban trumpet virtuoso Arturo Sandoval to Loch Tay Boat Song, with the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra. The high spot for me is The Tangled Road: Elling's lyric, Richard Galliano's melody and a heart-stopping flugelhorn solo by Till Brönner.
Five stars: * * * * *