Talk about a "world music" album. Acclaimed jazz singer Kurt Elling's latest, Passion World, is a literal jazz trip through various international music forms and cutting-edge styles.
Elling, a 21st century combo of Johnny Hartman, Jon Hendricks and Mark Murphy, brought a jazz feel to tunes by the Monkees, Sam Cooke, Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon, Duke Ellington, Lieber-Stoller and Goffin-King on 2012's 1619 Broadway, his tribute to Brill Building songwriters.
Now Elling plies his warm, smooth and expressive honeyed voice, impeccable phrasing and innate sense of swing to a disparate program of songs traveling the globe. This seamless global jazz opus has Elling showcasing how interconnected all music forms and cultures are, bringing passion to each performance through a set of songs from Ireland, Iceland, Scotland, Brazil, Cuba and France.
Throughout he's backed by his core group and such international guests as the Scottish National Orchestra, Germany's WDR Big Band & Orchestra, French accordionist/songwriter Richard Galliano and legendary Cuban trumpeter Arturo Sandoval. Songs and lyrics come from Pat Metheny, Björk, U2, James Joyce, Johannes Brahms and Dorival Caymmi.
Again Elling presents a creative tour-de-force of lyrical and innovative eclectic jazz incorporating a myriad of musical genres.