Kurt Elling Quotes

  • I listened to a lot of King Crimson back in the day.
  • I'm a jazz musician, and I really wanted to not miss an opportunity to have the full connection to jazz.
  • It's a lovely thing to have people in any circumstance appreciate your work.
  • I like the power and versatility of a big band and how an orchestra can vary the dynamics from very loud to very quiet, and SNJO covers those bases.
  • As improvisers, we're acting as composers in front of people.
  • Grammy nominations are certainly pleasant, but you can forget about them and lead a perfectly happy life - provided you have the approval of the musicians you work with.
  • In New York, the drummers rush for a reason - because there's so much energy crackling through everything in that city and so many collisions at a highly accelerated rate.
  • I hope that I'm also maturing emotionally as a human being as things go on.
  • You don't want to make records so you can win a Grammy. You make records because you want to be a musician.
  • You want to be doing your best work whatever field of the arts you're in because your life's going to be over all too soon, and you have to make the most of it.
  • I consider myself very fortunate. I have a beautiful wife who supports my work and is raising our daughter when I'm out on the road.
  • That's the thing: There are so many art songs in jazz. It's a much more rich experience for the singer than people think.
  • I want to be the jazz singer.
  • Of course we all know when music's too much in the head, and we define our greatest players by the way they are able to communicate directly from their emotional selves.
  • Sometimes people have this notion that improvisation is simply intuitive leaping into the unknown.
  • When improvisation is properly applied, it is compositional thinking, sped way up.
  • I've got more low notes than I had when I started.
  • I haven't been afraid of John Coltrane or Miles Davis or Bill Evans or Wayne Shorter or Herbie Hancock. Why would I be afraid of the Beatles?
  • You don't know what bravery is until you overcome fear.
  • With a smaller setting, you have a lot more freedom and flexibility within a given moment, but not necessarily the velocity you have with a big band.
  • You don't just let a guy drop off the earth and not come together with everybody who knew him and loved him and respected him. You try to do it the right way.
  • Man, I just feel so fortunate to be a jazz musician at all. I have a hard time thinking of it any other way. It's such a fulfilling vocation. I love it.
  • There's a spiritual complement to any attempt at transposing a commitment to humanity through music or art.
  • The musicians in Chicago gave me my vocation, but New York calls to a jazz musician, for sure. You want to test your mettle.
  • Part of my joy as a singer is to give gifts to people, and one way I try to connect to them is to add something in French or German or whatever.
  • It must be a hellish thing to know what's possible in music, to be hearing things all the time and not have an appropriate outlet for them.