NEW YORK (PRWEB) October 13, 2017
Grammy Award-winning artist Kurt Elling has released his acclaimed new album, The Beautiful Day, on vinyl and is available in stores October 13, 2017. It also features the vinyl only bonus track “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” featuring The Swingles.
When Kurt Elling embraced the meaning and spirit of “Christmas” in creating The Beautiful Day (OKeh), he also wanted to make a holiday album that celebrated the promise and energy of the Christmas season that affects people of all beliefs. Elling curates the sound of Christmas with a lively imagination – mixing songs that are revelations and rediscovered treats with traditional carols decked out in new arrangements.
If its vibrant pedigree is jazz, The Beautiful Day allowed Elling’s imagination to range far and wide in finding the right songs to hit what he called “a sweet spot.” Elling created the arrangements with pianist Stuart Mindeman as well his longtime collaborators, guitarist John McLean, bassist Clark Sommers and drummer Kendrick Scott.
“In the Western world, whether you’re a Christian or not, Christmas has some kind of seasonal relevance to you,” Elling said. “You can’t really escape the holiday – even if it’s just coming at you on television … For me, the holiday comes enriched with a lot of beautiful personal memories. It also comes freighted with the knowledge that millions of other people around the world carry their own such memories, and not all those memories are of happy occasions. So it was daunting to take on something with so much history and resonance. I hope that with this material I found a sweet spot.”
Included on The Beautiful Day are traditional carols – “The Little Drummer Boy” and “We Three Kings” – in striking new arrangements, as well as the wistful folk-rock of Dan Fogelberg (“Same Old Lang Syne”) and the jazz-and-gospel-influenced soul of Donny Hathaway (“This Christmas”). A trio of popular contemporary Christmas songs – Alfred Burt’s “Some Children See Him,” Claude Thornhill’s “Snowfall” and Terre Roche’s “Star of Wonder” – are heard, as well a recent arrival, “The Snow Is on the Ground” by John Hollenbeck. Elling also created a new song (“The Michigan Farm”), writing lyrics to a melody by Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg.
A charming rediscovery on The Beautiful Day is a handful of songs, including the album’s title track, with a vocal by Elling’s daughter Luiza – from Leslie Bricusse’s Oscar-nominated score for the film musical Scrooge (1970), based on Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Throughout The Beautiful Day, the beloved Czech carol “Good King Wenceslas,” a tale of Christmas love and generosity of spirit, appears three times, the basis for strikingly different musical impressions of the atmosphere of Christmas.
“It’s a funny thing, going in to make a Christmas record – a strange, exhilarating, challenging thing – especially when your father was a church musician, as mine was, and so much of your childhood was based around the church calendar and preparing music for religious observances,” Elling said. “The music has meaning; it’s inclusive; it’s seasonal, by which I mean the actual season of winter in North America; and it has a little bit of searching weight to it – avoiding, I hope, the usual seasonal cliché.”
Catch Kurt Elling on the road this holiday season:
11/8/17 — TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning — Toronto, Canada
11/18/17 — The State Academic Chapel — St. Petersburg, Russia
11/25-26/17 — City Winery — Chicago, IL
11/27/17 — City Winery — Nashville, TN
11/29/17 — City Winery — Atlanta, GA
12/1-2/17 — Texas Performing Arts — Austin, TX
12/3/17 — Murchison Performing Arts Center — Denton, TX
12/5-6/17 — The Soiled Dove — Denver, CO
12/7/17 — Herbst Theatre — San Francisco, CA
12/15/17 — Glasgow Cathedral — Glasgow, Scotland
12/16/17 — St Machar’s Cathedral — Aberdeen, Scotland
12/17/17 — St Mary’s Cathedral — Edinburgh, Scotland
Sony Music Masterworks comprises Masterworks, Okeh, Portrait, Sony Classical, RCA Red Seal, and Masterworks Broadway imprints. For email updates and information please visit http://www.SonyMusicMasterworks.com
1. Sing a Christmas Carol
2. Wenceslaus (Image I)
3. Star of Wonder
4. We Three Kings
1. Christmas Children
2. Wenceslaus (Image II)
3. Some Children See Him
1. Little Drummer Boy
2. Wenceslaus (Image III)
3. The Michigan Farm (Cradle Song, Op. 41/1)
4. The Snow is Deep on the Ground / Snowfall
1. Same Old Lang Syne
2. This Christmas
3. The Beautiful Day
4. Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring *Vinyl only*
Kurtelling.com Facebook/KurtElling Okeh.com Masterworks.com