Stuff, caught here in their only performance at Montreux, combined the talents of five amazing musicians: Cornell Dupree on guitar, Gordon Edwards on bass, Steve Gadd on drums, Eric Gale on guitar and Richard Tee on keyboards. Individually they were among the most sought after session players of their day but together as Stuff they had a magic all of their own, brilliantly captured on this CD, which also features a guest appearance from vocalist Odetta on "Oh Happy Day" and specially written sleeve notes by Gordon Edwards and longtime fan of the band Chris Rea. "The purity of what's on this [CD] is the true history of modern music. It's as good as it ever got and ever will get." - Chris Rea.
Fans of Kurt Elling have long known that his recordings, as clever and well-orchestrated as they might be, don't quite match up to the power and charm of his live performances. Years of holding court at the Green Mill and other Chicago clubs are what really have brought Elling his most devoted followers, so it is exciting to see that Blue Note's new Elling album is a document of three special nights spent recording at the legendary Uptown jazz club. And indeed, with a few small exceptions, the album shows off Elling at his best – loose, uninhibited, creative, and solid. His standard backing trio has never been tighter and more balanced, and the performance of pianist (and Elling collaborator) Lawrence Hobgood really shines.