If you lived in Chicago, the opportunity to see Kurt Elling comes round pretty often. Being in the UK, it’s less frequent and you have to be pretty organised to get there. I’ve never managed it – ok, I know he’s been a few times in recent years – so getting to be in London AND get tickets to see him at Ronnie Scotts this week is reasoned to get excited. There are plenty of singers who draw on standards and do it brilliantly, or write their own music, or are able to perform as part of a band with ‘voice as instrument’ (think Norma Winstone), but somehow Kurt Elling is out there with the best of them: hearing his music for the first time a few years ago on the recommendation of a friend, really grabbed me. The album I listened had him drawing on Vince Mendoza material alongside a glorious reinterpretation of My Foolish Heart: it was so jazzy but hip as well. So I’m excited at the prospect of him in a club with his band for a couple of hours. Don’t disappoint me Kurt!
Getting excited… Kurt Elling at Ronnie’s