release date: April the 3rd,2020 via Edition Records
Secrets Are The Best Stories is the new album from acclaimed vocalist and Grammy-winning artist Kurt Elling featuring renowned pianist Danilo Pérez. Released on the British label, Edition Records, this vibrant and adventurous new album not only marks a vital new collaboration between two of the greats in the music but is an album that confirms Kurt Elling as the male vocalist of his generation – one who has the presence, the message and the artistic vision to stand out from the rest.
Secrets Are The Best Stories is set to be a career-defining album for Kurt, confirming his trajectory on a new and evolving path of artistic excellence, and further exploring the passion and the messages, political, personal, that inspire him.
Here, Elling adds evocative new lyrics to compositions by greats like Pérez’s iconic collaborator Wayne Shorter, late fusion bass genius Jaco Pastorius, and visionary composer/arranger Vince Mendoza, and to pieces from Pérez’s own catalogue. Along with his own compelling narratives, Elling adapts the works of contemporary poets Franz Wright and Robert Bly, the 19th century abolitionist poet Frances E.W. Harper and Nobel-winning author Toni Morrison.
His previous album The Questions, released in 2018, explored important messages about social and political issues. The Questions was undoubtedly a learning experience from which Elling never expected to find definitive answers. And yet some things have become clearer to him. Elling’s continued search for what is hidden and what is unearthed is reflected in the title, Secrets Are The Best Stories – an insight gleaned from one of his daughter’s childhood friends, whose naïve wisdom recognised the deeper beauty in games of hide-and-seek.
With Secrets Are The Best Stories, Kurt has further developed his protest voice to communicate his impassioned artistic reaction to the vital issues of our time: human rights, immigration and climate change. On this album he demonstrates the artist’s ability to respond, which he does with command and virtuosity, and integrity.
“The Questions asked, ‘How did we get in this mess? What are we going to do about it?’” Elling reflects. “Sometimes we trip over the answers or live into them over time. Sometimes we have to work very hard to see the possibility hidden right in front of us; the shining diamond must be romanced over time and drawn out from what looks like a plain block of molten frost. And then again, sometimes the answer is perfectly obvious: “be kind”. But the news cycle has continued apace, confronting us with an ever darker labyrinth. How shall we survive? Danilo and I share many of the same concerns and anxieties about where the world is today.” The album called Secrets Are The Best Stories, is our cri de coeur.
To help them amplify this musical outcry, Elling and Pérez gather together a remarkable ensemble. The core of the band is formed by the singer’s longtime bassist Clark Sommers, in-demand drummer Johnathan Blake and Brazilian percussion master Rogerio Boccato. They’re joined by a retinue of stellar special guests, including alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón, guitarist Chico Pinheiro, and Román Díaz, a revered elder statesman of Cuban percussion.
Perhaps the greatest mystery revealed by this recording is the secret of beauty itself: beauty with a purpose. With this gorgeous new album, Elling makes no secret of the empathy that he feels for – and hopes to find in – his fellow citizens of the world. “I start from the heart,” Elling says of his songwriting process. “And my heart goes to compassion.”
Ever since Kurt Elling burst on to the global scene 25 years ago, he has been developing the sound and command of his vocal instrument into one of the most recognisable in the music. A combination of – richness in intent, of soulfulness and of signature expression- define him as an artist. Secrets Are The Best Stories – the new recording from the world’s foremost jazz singer – translates an artistic vision of history, mystery, and storytelling into a musical message both singular and deep.
About Secrets Are The Best Stories
CD Cat No: EDN1151
LP Cat No: EDNLP1151
Format: LP / CD / DN / Streaming
CD Barcode: 5060509790913
LP Barcode: 5060509790920
Release Date: 3rd April 2020
1 The Fanfold Hawk (for Franz Wright) 2.44 Music by Jaco Pastorius and lyrics by Kurt Elling
2 A Certain Continuum 5.06 Music by Jaco Pastorius and lyrics by Kurt Elling
3 Stays 5.28 Music by Wayne Shorter and lyrics by Kurt Elling and Robert Pinsky
4 Gratitude (for Robert Bly) 6.21 Music by Danilo Pérez and lyrics by Kurt Elling
5 Stage I 5.05 Music by Django Bates and lyrics by Sidsel Endresen
6 Beloved (for Toni Morrison) 9.32 Music by Danilo Pérez and lyrics by Kurt Elling
7 Stages II, III 4.26 Music by Django Bates and lyrics by Sidsel Endresen
8 Song Of The Rio Grande (for Oscar and Valeria Martinez-Ramirez) 4.56 Music by Danilo Pérez and lyrics by Kurt Elling
9 Rabo de Nube 3.20 Music and lyrics by Silvio Rodríguez
10 Esperanto 5.01 Music by Vince Mendoza and lyrics by Kurt Elling
11 Epílogo 1.33 Music by Danilo Pérez
Kurt Elling – Voice
Danilo Pérez – Piano Fender Rhodes
Clark Sommers – Bass
Johnathan Blake – Drums
Rogério Boccato – Percussion
Román Díaz – Percussion
Chico Pinheiro – Guitar
Miguel Zenón – Alto Saxophone
Secrets Are The Best Stories will be released on 3rd April 2020 on Edition Records
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