SuperBlue: The Iridescent Spree

SuperBlue: The Iridescent Spree

Jazz vocal star Kurt Elling and eight-string guitarist Charlie Hunter return for more after their 2021 collab, SuperBlue, and 2023 covers EP, Guilty Pleasures. Joined again by drummer Corey Fonville and bassist/keyboardist DJ Harrison of Butcher Brown, they bring a funky and exploratory energy to a wide range of songs including Joni Mitchell’s “Black Crow” and Ornette Coleman’s “Lonely Woman” (with original lyrics, under the title “Only the Lonely Woman”). There’s a Donald Fagen-esque flavour to “Freeman Square,” written by Blue Note president Don Was, with a convoluted scat-style lyrical break that captures Elling’s beat-poet influences. Bob Dorough’s Schoolhouse Rock! bit “Naughty Number Nine” has a bluesy spoken-word aspect that also suits Elling in spades. “Bounce It” finds him boasting in syncopation over a tight breakbeat: “We’re super 2/We’re back-to-back/With tracks that stack/To give that groove/A smack attack!” But the slow-jam R&B of Ron Sexsmith’s “Right About Now” and the languorous dream-pop of “Little Fairy Carpenter” take the group to places it hasn’t travelled before.

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