This Time It’s Love

Blue Note Records | 1998

Elling’s third recording was a romantic outing that opened with “My Foolish Heart,” still a staple of Elling’s live shows. This Time It’s Love addressed the theme of love with hip arrangements of jazz standards and new Elling/Hobgood compositions. DownBeat gave the recording four-and-a-half stars and said, “Again, the singer reveals his grand gift for vocalese lyrics.” The record earned Elling his third Grammy nomination.

Track Listing

  • My Foolish Heart
  • Too Young To Go Steady
  • I Feel So Smoochie
  • Music/Solo by Freddie Hubbard
    Vocalese lyric by Kurt Elling based on Freddie Hubbard’s improvised melody on “Delphia” from the 1970 recording Red Clay

    Vs. 1
    Love is wild in her. I confuse her love with the sea.
    She is a rare and emerald fantasy told to me
    and to me it seems that she lives in a mystery.

    But her kisses! I dig her kisses.
    While washing the dishes or feeding the fishes.
    It’s her kisses. Her k-k-k-k-k-k-kisses.
    It’s her kisses. Kisses that’ll make you holler loudly
    that you’re glad enough to be a man.

    Vs. 2
    And in the evening – later – after dark
    she quietly reveals to me all her miracles
    Flying all up around me everywhere,
    just like a fountain springing up around my eyes – a love!
    I’m in a shower of a lovely one.
    She makes the sun rise and set for me.

    Oh, gotta’ make her stay
    because she’s got a wiggle that’ll make a clock stop.
    I dig her even when we’re apart.
    Digging on my baby’s really getting me high
    & making me sigh & helping me fly
    back to the woman who could tease old Frankenstein’s suture-boy to living.

    Moxie is as moxie does & she is moxie with the kind of moxie love she’s giving.
    And I know she’ll never ever need forgiving
    with kisses that will make you say you’re glad enough to be a man.

    Vs. 3
    And she giggles when she talks.
    And she’s happy if we go to the races & party or not.
    And she squeezes all the living daylights out of me.
    And if I ever should sever the tether that keeps us together
    forever where never a tear or a sorrow could weather
    the amorist passion that flashes from in her eyes
    – I’d be a dunce –
    if i should ever try to walk or try to stray into any other woman’s arms.

    Because I dig her kisses –
    the kind that I like because they’re warm & tasty
    and they’re good and chewy and I like ’em.
    And you would dig them too, if you could ever get
    a kiss from my sweet miss.
    But we will be kissing and kissing & so you’ll never ever
    get a taste of heaven – that I know & guarantee that you will never see.

    A bucket of loving is what she brings to me. She is my sweetie.
    with kissing – loving – hugging that’l make you glad just to be a man.

    Vs. 4, repeat Vs. 1

  • My Love, Effendi
  • Lyric by Kurt Elling

    I hear the woman like a song / dancing down a long corridor
    Reminding me I belong where I am

    I see the singing in the rain/ the rhythm at my windowpane
    Reminding me I belong where I am

    There is a light in the silence of loving things
    And when I look in my baby’s hopeful eyes
    It’s like the sound just before ever morning horizon
    Light comes to life

    It’s like a mem’ry of loving sound / turning me upside down
    Keeping my two feet firmly planted on the ground
    Reminding me I belong where I am.

  • The Very Thought Of You
  • The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing
  • Rosa Morena
  • Music and original lyric by N. Moret & R. A. Whiting
    Vocalese lyric by Kurt Elling based on Lester Young’s improvised melody from the 1946 recording The Aladdin Sessions

    Once she dressed in tweeds and lace, owned a Rolls-Royce car.
    Now she seems quite out of place, like a fallen star.
    While I worry, plan and scheme over what to do
    I can’t help feeling it’s a dream: She’s just too good to be true.

    New Lyric:
    Whenever I’ve loved – it seems now so long ago, back in the past –
    it always seemed like love was a morning star, fading fast;
    drowned out be noon time in daylight’s trivial sky.
    Love was a mirage that you could hold with your eye
    but as you came upon it it would dry up.

    Wondering, finally, whether true love would come at all,
    Watching each affair pass without a lasting word except ‘goodby’, taking the fall.
    Counting sorrows like raindrops falling from above.
    Wanting, somehow, to find a love

    to share with me a shelter against the storms of living –
    someone who was giving
    kisses from her joy and not here fear.

    I have seen before how sometimes people speak of love and think of pain.
    The very thought strained
    all their insides out so you could see fear was like a nail holding them to their past,
    keeping them distant from their futures, living in sadness,
    robbing every day of what could be – knowing it was madness,
    I would leave them hungering for what they’d take, but couldn’t give at all.

    It’s rare in life you came as close to losing all your skin.
    But now I’ve fallen in love and an angel’s fallen in there with me (in love).
    She checked her wing in at the door.
    Now, raindrops are diamonds falling out of Jennifer’s pockets
    and every kiss is July 4 rockets.
    What was I thinking of?
    Angels never fall in love
    with men like me.

    But still, every morning I awake to find my angel’s still asleep –
    right there in my arms – and life is complete.
    When she wakes, she smiles and whispers that she’s crazy living over me.
    What am I to do but to thank the other angels above?

    She’s stuck with me.
    I’ll never let her go now.
    With Jennifer I dig love
    and she can dig it, too.
    She’s funny that way.

  • A Time For Love
  • Every Time We Say Goodbye


Kurt Elling: Voice
Laurence Hobgood: Piano
Rob Amster: Bass
Michael Raynor: Drums & Percussion
Dave Onderdonk: Guitar
Paul Wertico: Drums (6 & 11)
Brad Wheeler: Soprano Saxophone (6 & 11)
Eddie Johnson: Tenor Saxophone (2)
Johnny Frigo: Violin (3)