Kurt Elling’s ‘The Gate’ Ventures Beyond Jazz

You don’t have to be a jazz fan to appreciate Kurt Elling. In fact, when you look at the names of the artists whose works he’s covered, jazz may not be the first thing that comes to mind. On The Gate, he turns to the music of The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, David Foster, and others.
Whoever he sings, and whatever he writes, Elling always surprises. His unconventional repertoire features the usual jazz standard or two, but at the heart of each new album, are his stylized renditions of modern pop.

Born and raised in Chicago, Kurt Elling recorded his first album at age 27. Each of his previous albums were nominated for Grammy Awards, including his most recent release, “Dedicated To You,” which earned him his first-ever Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album. Elling has earned high marks from critics as well. Every year since 2000, he’s topped Down Beat magazine’s Critics Poll for Male Vocalist of the Year.

Adding to his eclectic mix on The Gate are Elling’s masterful updates of tunes by the progressive rock band King Crimson, jazzmen Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis, and pop singer Joe Jackson, who had a Top 10 hit with “Steppin’ Out” in 1982.

Kurt Elling talks about “The Gate”