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About the Artist
On his Grammy-nominated 2018 album The Questions, acclaimed vocalist Kurt Elling confronted the whirlwind of uncertainty that threatens modern life by musing on the timeless yet ever-timely issues confronting humanity. With his much-anticipated 2020 follow-up, Secrets Are the Best Stories, Elling searches deeper into those profound questions with the help of renowned pianist Danilo Pérez, whose own work has long embraced a global vision of unity and acceptance.
Together the two draw inspiration from the musical and lyrical insights of jazz masters, brilliant poets and respected authors to craft the stunning compositions that make up Secrets Are the Best Stories. Elling joins evocative new lyrics to compositions by greats like Pérez’s iconic collaborator Wayne Shorter, late fusion bass genius Jaco Pastorius, visionary composer/arranger Vince Mendoza and multi-instrumentalist Django Bates, along with pieces from Pérez’s own catalogue. Along with his own compelling narratives, Elling adapts the words of poets Franz Wright and Robert Bly and Nobel-winning author Toni Morrison.
Perhaps the greatest mystery revealed by this recording is beauty itself. It is beauty with a purpose. With this gorgeous new album, Elling makes no secret of the empathy that he feels for—and hopes to find in—his fellows citizens of the world. “I start from the heart,” Elling says of his songwriting process. “And my heart goes to compassion.”
Kurt Elling, vocals
Danilo Pérez, piano