The Beautiful Day: Kurt Elling Sings Christmas
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“A kind of Sinatra with superpowers.” -The Guardian
Renowned for his singular combination of robust swing and poetic insight, GRAMMY winner Kurt Elling has secured his place among the world’s foremost jazz vocalists. Declared “the standout male vocalist of our time” by The New York Times, Elling has garnered unprecedented accolades, including a fourteen-year run atop the DownBeat Critics Poll, a dozen GRAMMY nominations, and eight Jazz Journalists Association awards for “Male Singer of the Year.”
Elling’s voice is instantly recognizable, embracing listeners with his warm, rich baritone and navigating the full span of his four-octave range as a virtuoso instrumentalist and a compelling storyteller. Whether transforming timeless standards or crafting his own enthralling originals, Elling balances elegant lyricism and technical mastery with wry humor, emotional depth, and keen observations into the human condition.
“Elling combines authenticity with stunning originality,” is how The Wall Street Journal describes his talents, while The Guardian has called him “a kind of Sinatra with superpowers.” The Toronto Star has gone so far as to say that “Kurt Elling is the closest jazz will ever get to having its own saint," while The Guardian makes up one voice in a chorus callinghim “one of jazz's all-time great vocalists."
On The Beautiful Day: Kurt Elling Sings Christmas, his first recording for OKeh Records/Sony Music Masterworks, Elling has embraced the meaning and spirit of Christmas, celebrating the promise and magic of the season that touches people of all faiths and beliefs. Inventive and fresh, The Beautiful Day reimagines the sounds of Christmas, mixing traditional carols decked out in new arrangements with songs that are revelations and rediscovered treats. He wraps the universal themes of hope, light, wonder, mystery, and goodwill in musical packages full of delightful surprises. Elling says, “I knew I didn’t want to make a ‘religious’ record, just as I knew I didn't want to make a standard, swingin’ jazzy Christmas. I’m trying to expand my consciousness and embrace the goodness of the season, and I want to include everybody. For me, Christmas is a time of consideration, of pondering mysteries.” The Beautiful Day truly transcends Christmas.
Taking the long view of Elling’s audacious and richly varied career, the Washington Post lauded, “Since the mid-1990s, no singer in jazz has been as daring, dynamic or interesting as Kurt Elling. With his soaring vocal flights, his edgy lyrics and sense of being on a musical mission, he has come to embody the creative spirit in jazz.”
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