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Archive for November, 2009

Song of the Week – Kurt Elling “Where I Belong”

November 20th, 2009
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Kurt Elling, jazz vocalist

Kurt Elling, jazz vocalist (photo credit: Christian Lantry)

One of my all time favorite jazz vocalists is the inimitable Kurt Elling. He has been voted Male Vocalist of the Year for 10 years in a row by critics in Downbeat magazine and for 5 years by the Downbeat readers’ choice awards.

Kurt Elling has done some really incredible recordings, and I am definitely going to go out and try to complete my collection and get all 8 of his albums.

The current JazzPianoCafe song of the week is Kurt Elling’s recording of his very romantic original song, Where I Belong. It’s from his 1998 album This Time It’s Love. Here are the lyrics, courtesy of Kurt Elling’s website:

Lyric by Kurt Elling

I hear the woman like a song / dancing down a long corridor
Reminding me I belong where I am

I see the singing in the rain/ the rhythm at my windowpane
Reminding me I belong where I am

There is a light in the silence of loving things
And when I look in my baby’s hopeful eyes
It’s like the sound just before ever morning horizon
Light comes to life

It’s like a magnet of loving sound / turning me rightside down
Keeping my two feet firmly planted on the ground
Reminding me I belong where I am.

You can listen to the song on iTunes for 99 cents, or listen for free on imeem (free account registration required). You can also purchase the CD or MP3’s online from Amazon.

Kurt Elling - This Time It's Love - Where I Belong

This recording of Where I Belong features the following stellar musicians: Kurt Elling voice, Laurence Hobgood piano, Rob Amster bass, Michael Raynor percussion, Dave Oderdonk guitar, Paul Wertico drums, and Brad Wheeler soprano saxophone.

The track opens with burst of warm sound. A simple riff on the soprano sax is echoed by the piano, accompanied by drums, acoustic bass and guitar. The riff is repeated once and then Kurt Elling enters with his sparkling and luscious baritone. A hypnotizing bossa nova ensues, with an exciting and tasteful soprano sax solo well shaped to a gentle climax before the final vocal melody restatement. The outro is a vamp on the original intro riff, ending with a bit of Kurt Elling’s whistling on the fade out.

Highly recommended! Hope you enjoy this song and check back again next week for another JazzPianoCafe “Song of the Week”.

-Geoff Peters (Birds in the House Productions)


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Live gig recording: Julian N. and Geoff Peters (alto sax and piano jazz duet)

November 4th, 2009
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I played piano at a wedding with my friend Julian N., a saxophonist and composer. Julian is a student at Humber College in Toronto. You can view his myspace page by clicking here.

Here is a track listing with links to the individual videos:

If you’d like to download MP3’s of the concert (free) you can get them from here.

With Julian’s permission I used my minidisc unit to record the audio from our performance. There is quite a bit of background noise from the wedding guests’ conversation, but in the recordings you can hear both of us quite clearly.

I also set up my Sony Camcorder in the corner and video-taped our performance too. There was very low light, so you can barely make us out in the video, but it gives more context to the audio to be able to see us perform too.

At this wedding, we performed a selection of mainstream jazz standards in a duo style. Probably my biggest inspiration for the saxophone-piano duo format is the legendary combination of Stan Getz (saxophone) and Kenny Barron (piano). Another inspiration for rhythmic ideas has been the mighty pianist Chick Corea and his duets with the one and only voice artist Bobby Mcferrin (such as their killer performance of Autumn Leaves).

So without further ado, here’s our complete performance (except for the last song we played, Confirmation by Charlie Parker, where we got interrupted by some DJ music).

Hope you enjoy! I hope that these performances will give you some ideas or inspiration for your own journeys in jazz and music in general.

Further listening: I performed one of Julian’s original compositions with the college band at the Phil Dwyer Academy of Music and Culinary Arts (PDAMCA) last August.

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