(Open Thread) OCD Jukebox — Pairs With Kurt Elling

Jukebox. Photo by liz west.

A couple of days ago, Demosthenes asked me what kind of music I like. That’s a hard question for me to answer, because I like lots of different music; it depends a lot on my mood. My taste runs the gamut, and there are some artists I like that most people have never heard of. You’re getting an introduction to one of those today.

Normally for the OCD Jukebox, I pick one song and give you around 20 different versions in a variety of styles. Today, I’m going to give you pairs of the same song, and one version will be by Kurt Elling. I’ll start with the version you’re likely most familiar with, and then Kurt’s version. This isn’t about which is better; it’s just different interpretations.

Now, you might be wondering, “Who’s Kurt Elling?” He’s a jazz singer with the most mellifluous (What a great word!) baritone voice. *Sigh* So sit back and relax. Let your mind drift as you listen.

If you’re only inclined to watch a couple of these videos, then watch the first two. Kurt kinda blew me away with his version…

Where the Streets Have No Name


Kurt Elling (2015) Passion World

The rest of these pairings will be in the order Kurt recorded them.

Close Your Eyes

Peggy Lee

Kurt Elling (1995) Close Your Eyes

Ballad of the Sad Young Men

Roberta Flack

Kurt Elling (1995) Close Your Eyes

Nature Boy

Nat King Cole

Kurt Elling (1997) The Messenger

April in Paris

Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong

Kurt Elling (1997) The Messenger

The Very Thought of You

Nat King Cole

Kurt Elling (1998) This Time It’s Love

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

The Platters

If you’re wondering what a live experience is like with Kurt, the next two selections are from his live album. Hubby and I went to see him at the Green Mill quite a few years ago and it was worth the 300 mile drive. (Each way, that we did all in one day! Yeah we were nuts back then!) I think he performed both these songs (I know he did “My Foolish Heart.” at least.)

Kurt Elling (2000) Live in Chicago

My Foolish Heart

Ethel Ennis

Kurt Elling (2000) Live in Chicago

This next pairing is a little different. Kurt’s version doesn’t begin the same, but it ends with the classic melody in the final verse. The earlier two verses are a harmony line.

Moonlight Serenade

Glenn Miller Orchestra

Kurt Elling (2001) Flirting With Twilight

To close this out, I’ll share the song that led me to Kurt Elling, because I was looking for a male vocalist for this, and his version came up in that search.

Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye

Ella Fitzgerald

Kurt Elling (1998) This Time It’s Love

Hope you enjoyed today’s musical interlude. Remember, tomorrow we’ll be discussing the noir film “Blonde Ice,” which you can watch for free on YouTube.

As always, this is an open thread, so feel free to discuss whatever you like!

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