Live In Chicago
Blue Note Records | 2000
The next Grammy-nominated release was recorded live at Chicago’s storied Green Mill Lounge, Elling’s home and long-time artistic base. Comprised largely of previously unrecorded material, the album featured Elling singing with jazz legend Jon Hendricks and blowing by Chicago tenor greats Von Freeman, Ed Petersen and Eddie Johnson. Elling pushed the boundaries of vocalese on “Night Dreamer,” Wayne Shorter’s signature composition. “This CD,” wrote the Jazz Educators Journal, “reflects Elling’s utterly creative genius.”
My Foolish Heart
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
Oh My God
Music by Wayne Shorter
Solos by Wayne Shorter and Lee Morgan
Vocalese lyric by Kurt Elling based on Wayne Shorter’s and Lee Morgan’s improvised melodies on “Night Dreamer” from the 1964 recording Night Dreamer
Lonely the roses of Avondaire / sing as though somebody still may care.
They live only for the dream of living / so come follow where / they will take you there.
I once was apprenticed / to a man who was living
in the eye if the hurricane / to know despair,
He knew all the dreams by heart / just like sailing in a boat of
crystal silence / seeing visions / of the world / of life within a life.
In a turning / like a burning / came turning /
out of everything stirring / and what had begun before
but all wrapped up / in one great godly becoming –
Tumbling / and fumbling / and stumbling
into bumbling / and rumbling along –
whirling it / and swirling it / and twirling it / and hurling it /
and overturning it / and burning it again.
I shared a whirling dervish out on the side of a hill called metaphore vivace
swinging en route to a nascent solar / with the scissored visored blizzard wizard /
gizzarding planets and secrets within / like an avatar.
While meanwhile / in turnstyling / and spinning over him
spells bespeaking kingdoms in the dark
calling me to yield / knighting me in a field / covered with armies
and with princes. All were signing / cannons shining / pennants flying.
And when he spoke to me he sang / and his words really rang –
this child of the knowledge of the beauty of the night –
he sang to me of masters passing on / of father after father after father
climbing up into the lotus bloom / upon the tortoise’s back
and of grandfathers / who danced through their living a longer time ago.
He showed me a palace in time / in which all the talismans
from all the zeuses / swing upon a pendulum of secrets
in a circle that remembers / and when asked a question will surrender
every secret key to every hero’s message / given to every heart in time
but only known to but a few /or so it seems.
When I asked of them / what shall I do / to see the god?
They only said / the goldenrod / which grows inside of
every secret dream you dream / while waiting for the god –
it-s a symbol from the man in the fire.
ling you the thing you desire
is a garment that covers the riddle of everything secretly wished for
and of the world of which you are an inheritor.
Suddenly the chamber was flooded with light /
hurling me skyward like a meteorite/
When I fell to earth / I saw everything in a blur.
I saw that time was accelerating in a curve
and the palace in which I had stood / it was flowing, like lava, on acres of woodland
like a pompei-an mountain volcano / making archipelago
and destroying the planet / at fortissimo
bulldozing everything down / to make room for what
was a byzantine / a labarynthine / knotty mess of
manifolding passageways / a tangle of confusion /
where the walls made / an asylum of baroque.
Like a joke / words were spoken
to provoke me / and to toss me
nude and empty / to the sea.
But I would have none of it.
I simply turned my back and walked out/ of the dreamscape/
into landscape / like a bedroom / where I heard that
Lonely the roses of solitaire / sing as though somebody still may care.
They live only for the dream of living / so come follow where they will take you there.
(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons
Music by Vince Mendoza, originally titled “Esperança”
Lyric by Kurt Elling inspired by and integrating Book of Questions by Pablo Neruda
There’s a secret that never dies –
like a song of hidden meanings that we never apprehend.
There are questions just as old as time
and the answers that come never quite make amends.
Even so, when you look at time
you can get a subtle feeling of the way it ought to be.
Take a good look at your own real life
and you’ll see if you want what you’ve gotten to be.
It’s a hope, a sign, a measure of quiet rapture –
of love and what may come after.
It’s let-ting go, and letting no answer be an answer.
How did smoke learn how to fly? – Where do birds go off to die?
Why does coal sleep in darkness? – Do dreams live in apart-ness?
Is a number forever? – where’s the soul of the water?
How old is old November? – No one here can remember.
If I die, where does time go? – Do the bees feel ver-ti-go?
To get love – is there potion? – Or is love on-ly mo-tion
Holy lift, holy reading – holy gift, holy needing.
Holy sound, holy waiting – holy spark a-ni-ma-ting
holy food, holy breathing – holy light in-ter-wea-ving.
Holy night, holy hand-write – holy flight, holy in-sight:
holy sun, holy brother – holy moon, holy mother.
Holy dream, holy vision – holy scheme, holy mission:
holy one to a-no-ther – holy me, holy other.
Holy lives, holy blending – holy start, holy ending.
Don't Get Scared
Intro: (Goin' To Chicago)
Goin' To Chicago
Intro: (The Rent Party)
The Rent Party
Kurt Elling: Voice
Laurence Hobgood: Piano
Rob Amster: Acoustic Bass
Michael Raynor: Drums & Percussion
Featured Guest Artists
Jon Hendricks: Voice
Von Freeman: Tenor Saxophone
Eddie Johnson: Tenor Saxophone
Ed Petersen: Tenor Saxophone
Kahil El’Zabar: Hand Drums