The Beautiful Day

OKeh/Sony | 2016

On The Beautiful Day: Kurt Elling Sings Christmas, his first recording for OKeh Records/Sony Music Masterworks, Elling embraced the meaning and spirit of Christmas, celebrating the promise and magic of the season that touches people of all faiths and beliefs. Inventive and fresh, The Beautiful Day reimagined the sounds of Christmas, mixing traditional carols decked out in new arrangements with songs that were revelations and rediscovered treats. He wrapped the universal themes of hope, light, wonder, mystery, and goodwill in musical packages full of delightful surprises. Elling said, “I knew I didn’t want to make a ‘religious’ record, just as I knew I didn’t want to make a standard, swingin’ jazzy Christmas. I’m trying to expand my consciousness and embrace the goodness of the season, and I want to include everybody. For me, Christmas is a time of consideration, of pondering mysteries.” The Beautiful Day truly transcends Christmas.

Track Listing

  • Sing a Christmas Carol
  • Wenceslaus (Image I)
  • Star of Wonder
  • We Three Kings
  • Christmas Children
  • Wenceslaus (Image II)
  • Some Children See Him
  • Little Drummer Boy
  • Wenceslaus (Image III)
  • By Edvard Grieg
    Lyrics by Kurt Elling

    Put away the colored lights.
    Set aside the tinsel tree.
    Step out into the night with me.
    Christmas Eve is there, wait and see.
    Come away from the fireside.
    Feel the heat of the flame subside.
    Fields are asleep deep under the snow.
    Softly above, stars shimmer and glow.
    Trees that with the winter frost,
    cling to life but pay the cost.
    Slowly, painfully, limbs still rise,
    reaching longing arms to the sky.
    Here, melodies no horn can play.
    Earth whispers what no words can say.
    Christmas carols the winds blow away.
    Sweet, secretive lives dreaming of day.

  • The Snow is Deep on the Ground / Snowfall
  • Same Old Lang Syne
  • This Christmas
  • The Beautiful Day
  • Music by Johann Sebastian Bach
    Lyrics by Kurt Elling
    Featuring The Swingles

    Everything the world is needing / Peace and hope and love most bright
    Comes tonight while stars are speeding / Through the quiet Christmas night

    Every prayer that’s gone unanswered / Finds resolve and sweet delight
    Comfort comes those whose pleading / Sees compassion’s shining light


Kurt Elling: Voice, Percussion
John McLean: Acoustic and Electric Guitars
Stu Mindeman: Piano, Electric Keyboards, Hammond B-3 Organ
Clark Sommers: Bass
Jill Kaeding: Cello
Jim Gailloreto: Soprano Saxophone
Tito Carrillo: Trumpet
Kendrick Scott: Drums
Kalyan Pathak: Percussion
Luiza Elling: Voice