Kurt Elling: Passion World | Hard not to be charmed
This collection of songs from around the world are what singer Kurt Elling candidly terms his “charmers” – songs he uses “to extend a hand” to local audiences while on his travels.
So there are songs here in many languages, each burnished by Elling's gorgeous baritone, and each delivered with the bravura technique and only slightly overwrought emotion that has made the Chicago native the leading male vocalist of his generation.
The roster of international guests includes French accordionist Richard Galliano, Cuban trumpeter Arturo Sandoval and the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, and there are songs by Björk, Pat Metheny and even U2.
It all ends quietly with Irish composer Brian Byrne's tender setting of a James Joyce lyric, Where Love Is. Hard not to be charmed.
Four stars: * * * *