Someone once said that all music, even at its most abstract, is about something, and that is the passage of time. That might be, but there are musicians who can transcend time to enter other dimensions in music. Vocalist Arooj Aftab, multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily and pianist Vijay Iyer who, as Love In Exile, will come to the Cleveland Museum Of Art Wednesday, are among them.
Kurt Elling and SuperBlue at Cleveland Museum of Art
In his 30-odd years on the scene, Grammy-winning singer Kurt Elling has topped the Down Beat Critics Poll 13 times and has received the Jazz Journalists Association Male Singer of the Year award eight times. He’s done this while singing texts written by Theodore Roethke and Walt Whitman, a Monkees hit, one of Brahms’ Liebeslieder Waltzes. Whitney Balliett might have had Elling’s musical choices in mind when he wrote his famous characterization of jazz as being “the sound of surprise.”
Yet none of Elling’s neck-snapping musical eccentricities was as shocking as SuperBlue, which will come to Gartner Auditorium at the Cleveland Museum of Art Wednesday.
Pianist Tamir Hendelman’s gifts as an accompanist have led to recording projects by some of the most iconic soloists of our time: Natalie Cole, Gladys Knight, Sir Paul McCartney and Barbra Streisand among them. Yet his Sunday’s concert at Bop Stop Sunday will present him with the challenge of accompanying a different sort of soloist: himself.