1619 Broadway: The Brill Building Project

1619 Broadway: The Brill Building Project

by Kurt Elling



Forward-thinking jazz vocalist Kurt Elling follows up his progressive 2011 covers album The Gate with his equally ambitious 2012 release, 1619 Broadway: The Brill Building Project. Where on his last outing, Elling drew upon an array of musical genres and time periods for his song choices, this time he focuses on the fertile pop songwriting Mecca that was the Brill Building in the '50s and '60s. The creative epicenter for much of the pop music industry on the East Coast, the Brill Building was the work place for a bevy of legendary artists and songwriters including Carole King, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, and many others. On The Brill Building Project, Elling picks from a cross-section of these songwriters, running the gamut from such obvious standards as the Sammy Cahn/James Van Heusen-Frank Sinatra vehicle "Come Fly with Me," to more idiosyncratic pop
ock choices like Elling's conceptually arty doo wop-meets-beatnik comedy sketch take on the Coasters' "Shoppin' for Clothes." Generally speaking, most of the songs here are reworked by Elling and his band into various contemporary jazz styles that allow Elling plenty of room for his expansive, vocalese-influenced singing style. He even adds his own dark, socio-satirical point of view to the Monkee's already dark Gerry Goffin and Carole King-penned "Pleasant Valley Sunday," which recalls the '70s jazz-rock of Steely Dan. A few tracks, such as Duke Ellington's swinging "Tutti for Cootie" and the bluesy 1968 Lou Rawls number "I'm Satisfied," are done in a more straight-ahead, post-bop jazz style. Others cuts, like the lead-off "On Broadway" and Sam Cooke's "You Send Me," are reimagined as languid, R&B-infused arrangements. In fact, with his supple, velvet-lined voice, it is perhaps not surprising that it is the more introspective moments like Elling's afterglow ballad version of the Al Dublin/Harry Warren standard "I Only Have Eyes for You" and his atmospheric reworking of Carole King's, "So Far Away" that really stick with you. Ultimately, though, it is just this diverse stylistic quality, both in the source material and Elling's arrangements, that make The Brill Building Project one of his most interesting albums.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/25/2012
Label: Concord Records
UPC: 0888072339590
catalogNumber: 33959

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kurt Elling   Primary Artist,Vocals,Spoken Word
Christian McBride   Vocals
Dianne Reeves   Spoken Word
Ernie Watts   Tenor Saxophone
Laurence Hobgood   Piano,Spoken Word
Joel Frahm   Tenor Saxophone
Tom Luer   Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Clark Sommers   Bass
Nic Harcourt   Spoken Word
Kendrick Scott   Conga,Drums
Jonathan Stuart   Spoken Word
Vanessa Parr   Spoken Word
Chris Hinderaker   Spoken Word
Daye L. Turner   Spoken Word
John McLean   Guitar
Jeff Greenberg   Spoken Word
Sara Collins   Spoken Word
Kye Palmer   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Eric Denniston   Spoken Word
Fred Zollo   Spoken Word
Dominick Zingone   Spoken Word
Michael Zettier   Spoken Word
Michael Podell   Spoken Word
Mary Vinci   Spoken Word
Luiza Elling   Spoken Word
Jennifer Elling   Spoken Word

Technical Credits

Sam Cooke   Composer
Carole King   Composer
Paul Simon   Composer
Burt Bacharach   Composer
Gerry Goffin   Composer
Jerry Leiber   Arranger,Composer
Barry Mann   Composer
Sammy Cahn   Composer
Hal David   Composer
Dubin   Composer
Duke Ellington   Composer
Chris Dunn   Producer
Ernie Freeman   Composer
Jimmy Hamilton   Composer
Kent Harris   Composer
Mike Stoller   Arranger,Composer
James Van Heusen   Composer
Harry Warren   Composer
Cynthia Weil   Composer
Kurt Elling   Arranger,Producer
Laurence Hobgood   Arranger,Producer,Horn Arrangements
Neil Tesser   Liner Notes
Darryl Pitt   Producer
Clark Sommers   Arranger
Seth Presant   Engineer
Larissa Collins   Art Direction
John McLean   Arranger
Chris Allen   Engineer

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