"Having done so many projects about my love for Chicago," says vocalist Kurt Elling," I wanted to make something that spoke of my love for New York." The two cities define his career. Elling developed his craft in Chicago, and recorded several of his early discs there. But in fact, the singer and his family have lived in Manhattan since 2008 and "1619 Broadway-the Brill Building Project" is his response to that experience. At its peak, the building in the heart of midtown Manhattan served as the creative home for more than 160 tenants associated with the pop-music industry. Elling focuses on a handful of those classic writing teams, including Leiber & Stoller, Bacharach & David, Cahn & Van Heusen, and Goffin & King.
Closer to home, Eastern Iowa's own Equilateral has dished up another helping of exciting jazz on "Loud and Dark." As KCCK's Craig Kessler explains, "Although Equilateral has already issued two sparkling gems of earlier studio CD 'documents,' this wondrous band's art and music continues to evolve and expand. Individually, the members' artistic talents and merits can certainly stand on their own. But as a group, the mushroom cloud of musical explosion and the excitement generated from the compositions, the blowing, and the overall jaw-dropping ensemble performance continue to floor me!" The quartet includes saxophonist Chris Merz, trumpeter Brent Sandy, bassist Greg Mazunik and drummer Eric Thompson, "the finest unit that this area has ever produced."