Down Beat - 12/01, pp.93-44 stars out of 5
- "...A cohesive highly personalized exploration of 12 demanding love songs..."
JazzTimes - 12/01, pp.130,132
"...His most assured and accomplished album to date..."
Mojo (Publisher) - 1/03, p.73Ranked #3
in Mojo's "Best Jazz Albums of 2002"
Mojo (Publisher) - 3/02, p.106
"...A glorious set, his first all-ballad outing..."
Personnel: Kurt Elling (vocals); Bob Sheppard (soprano & tenor saxophones); Jeff Clayton (alto saxophone); Clay Jenkins (trumpet); Laurence Hobgood (piano); Marc Johnson (bass); Peter Erskine (drums).
Recorded at Capitol Studios, Hollywood, California on January 29-31 & Feburay 1, 2001. Includes liner notes by Zan Stewart.
FLIRTING WITH TWILIGHT was nominated for the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album. "Easy Living" was nominated for the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s).
Personnel: Kurt Elling (vocals); Bob Shepard, Bob Sheppard (soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); Jeff Clayton (alto saxophone); Clay Jenkins (trumpet); Laurence Hobgood (piano); Peter Erskine (drums).
Audio Mixer: Al Schmitt.
Liner Note Author: Zan Stewart.
Recording information: Capitol Studios, Hollywood, CA (01/29/2001-02/01/2001).
Photographer: Tiffany Pemberton.
Arrangers: Kurt Elling; Laurence Hobgood.
Native Chicagoan Kurt Elling is quickly becoming the preeminent male vocalist of his generation. This may be in part due to the lack of under-40 male jazz singers altogether. Nonetheless, deeply influenced by Jon Hendricks, and Mark Murphy, Elling is a chance-taking improviser, who brings a fresh approach to modern jazz. On this 2001 release, he is teamed up with tenor saxophonist Bob Sheppard, among others and an all-star rhythm section featuring Marc Johnson on bass and Peter Erskine on drums. Largely mellow and ballad-driven, FLIRTING WITH TWILIGHT shows the depth of Elling's musical conception.
Highlights include a fresh reworking of the Glenn Miller classic, "Moonlight Serenade" and a smart version of the subtle "Lil' Darlin'." On the former, Elling bases his vocal stylings on Charlie Haden's bass solos from Quartet West's 1991 HAUNTED HEART release. On the latter, he uses Jon Hendrick's lyrics as a vehicle for creative melodic expression.