This month’s cover story for JazzTimes, re: singer Kurt Elling, has been excerpted online. There’s way more insight behind the paywall, so if you like what you see, please go buy a copy, or swipe one from your neighbor. Meanwhile, I thought I’d expand on just one (major) aspect of the piece here, having to do with his thoughts on artistic maturity and its antipode, callow youth.
Elling is nothing if not a self-reflective artist, and soon after we sat down he was musing on his stature vis-à-vis jazz’s critical establishment. The tide had been turning for him in that regard, especially since the generally acknowledged triumph of his Coltrane-Hartman album, Dedicated to You, in 2009. But what Elling seemed eager to talk about were his detractors, some of whom he felt had formed their opinions early on.* Here is some of what he said: