Kurt Elling, 'Lonely Avenue,' Edition *****

Track of the day is Kurt Elling's to-die-for version of the Doc Pomus classic 'Lonely Avenue' first recorded and released by Ray Charles in 1956 the easy pick of the soaraway new 5-track EP SuperBlue - The London Sessions new from the great …

Published: 15 Jun 2022. Updated: 19 days.

Track of the day is Kurt Elling's to-die-for version of the Doc Pomus classic 'Lonely Avenue' first recorded and released by Ray Charles in 1956 the easy pick of the soaraway new 5-track EP SuperBlue - The London Sessions new from the great Chicagoan Elling out today.

Backing vocals on this ''Live at the Pool'' set are by Vula Malinga and La Donna Young with Charlie Hunter taking a strutting but never over-the-top guitar solo that ambles along mightily and there's drummer Corey Fonville who provides a laidback groove as DJ Harrison divvies up an airplane-doing-the-taxiing like keyboards as the ensemble start to rev the mother up oh so effortlessly and roar to put their own stamp on this evergreen break-up beauty and run that particular voodoo of a heartbreak down.

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Lizz Wright, Holding Space, Blues & Greens ****

One of the world's greatest jazz singers Lizz Wright again does not disappoint, here live in Berlin on this 2018 recording issued today on her own socially-conscious label. You will melt listening to this masterly performance. Lizz has Chris Bruce …

Published: 15 Jun 2022. Updated: 20 days.

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One of the world's greatest jazz singers Lizz Wright again does not disappoint, here live in Berlin on this 2018 recording issued today on her own socially-conscious label. You will melt listening to this masterly performance. Lizz has Chris Bruce on guitar, Ivan Edwards on drums, Ben Zwerin (son of the legendary jazz journalist and trombonist Mike Zwerin) on bass guitar and Bobby Ray Sparks II on keys in her band. Sparks is raucous and lit up inside on his organ intro to 'The New Game'. Holy roller 'Walk With Me Lord' grooves big time Edwards chopping up the sizzling beat and Bruce gets us head bobbing along. Allen Toussaint's 'Southern Nights' is a pleasure as Lizz displays all the time in the world singing the classic song.

No one does humility and sincerity as well as Wright. Hearing her a decade earlier in 2008 on that occasion circa The Orchard at the agreeably louche Soho Revue Bar noticing the audience spontaneously burst into applause for Jimmy Page and Robert Plant’s ‘Thank You’ was something you don't often witness when a crowd can often times be very uptight or shy but on that occasion seemed to just let their repressed demeanour transform itself. You definitely thank your lucky stars as the crowd did that night and surely here in Berlin going by the liveness of the audio capture. Everytime you hear this remarkable human being you just know what a humbling experience it is to soak it all in like the thrill of the first time magnified, shared and powerfully meaningful as expressed manifoldly here. SG

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