Review: Kurt Elling – Secrets Are The Best Stories

The album Kurt Elling – Secrets Are The Best Stories showcased the best of Kurt Elling’s songwriting skills and abilities. For example, song such as Stays, Gratitude (for Robert Bly), and The Fanfold Hawk (for Franz Wright) were some of songs that displayed his songwriting talents. With this album, Kurt Elling continues on this path of bold collaboration of both jazz and funk. Vocal jazz can’t get any better than this.

Stays was about a man who lived on the second floor of Kurt’s building whose unit came on fire and how he lost all his possessions in that fire. The man lost his family during the Holocaust in 1942 after being captured by an SS Man (German Nazi soldier)

There was a man on the second floor of Kurt’s building. He’d always retreat behind his door whenever Kurt would come off a tour. From what Kurt gathered, he’d never leave the floor. Kurt would hold his breath when he’d hear his sneak-ering pause at the door.

Once came a fiery flame. The firefighter came hurrying up those staircases dropping floods up above Kurt making a vertical sea. They ran around saving what could be salvaged until the firefighter said that they should get out of doors and stay for good like they knew they should.

They brought the man from the second floor. He was carried out by police and more. Looking unaware of the night into glaring lights. He was certainly running out of air while being transported down the stairs. They set him down and he sat by Kurt. For once in time began speaking free and pointing out a flaming tree. Just two refugees looking at the spectacle sight and crying. That was when he said something to the air. “I saw a burning like this before. The fire there. It was war for sure. Screaming into the air. Soldiers on the stairs. I could only stare. I couldn’t endure.”

Looking at the man, he was pretty old. And Kurt began to fear he was shuddering from the cold. But what he said sent an icy hold and told Kurt what his unconsoled beholding eyes knew, “I lost my family in 1942. The reason I would hide from your view. The SS man looked just like you.” The man lost his family during the Holocaust in 1942 after being captured by an SS Man (German Nazi soldier). The man lost his family in a fire. When fear and hate is such a lurest history’s core, the answer’s obscure.

Gratitude (for Robert Bly) was written for a man named Robert Bly. This is one of the more darker songs with a much jazzier edge than Kurt’s normal songs.

Just as sunlight casts a shadow, the first shade of another day begins. Robert Bly was interrupted in his sleep still in half a dream. Nettled into awaking wishing light away. Drinking his cup of coffee. Puzzling what he wants to say. The evening before he’d tried to tell it. He’d showed off all his ecstatic truths. Wine had encouraged his bray.

He’d gone to bed long before the point was proved. And he had risen deep in the night to walk. To wander under stars time again. He’d wished then that his children had come walking with him. To wonder at stars until they grew dim. Sharing the thoughts that spin him like butterflies trapped within him. He thinks of himself as being unlucky. He still thinks his mind is full of tangles. Meaning that he is tanged within his own thoughts.

He thinks his poems are a mess. Even though he tells the truth long before the point is proved. And rises deep in the night to write. To wander until light and fly words like kites. Whose children share their father’s inner intuition. Somebody ought to tell him. Maybe we ought to tell him something he ought to know. Something his poems show.

I rate this album 5/5*****!!

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