Maybe it's the recording perspective or the fact that both are vocal centric, but I haven't "connected" with the performers like this since the Jacqui Naylor tape. The sound is about as good as it gets IMHO and even though I've said this with many of the TP releases, this is on the road to being my favorite so far.
I've heard Kurt Elling live several times (and Peter Erskin the drummer on this release). However, I don't own any of his albums.
I do know that aside from the "living legends" , there is no more respected jazz vocalist on the scene today. When other vocalists refer to him, it's almost in hushed tones.
I've also heard Elling speak a few times too and even in casual settings, these quickly become more like workshops than "tell alls". The depth of this guys knowledge of the history and techniques of his craft seems limitless.
Flirting With Twilight reminds me a lot of my favorite authors.
From the first notes you enter a world created by the arranger (Laurence Hobgood) and the performers. They share their vision of the world with you and take you along for a ride filled with those things which can only be hinted at or described in roundabout ways. Every inflection and attack lends itself to fleshing out this reality and your only choice is to let yourself be swept away. It's very atmospheric.
Sometimes the arrangements remind me a little of classic Ella records while others have a more current tone. They are all wonderful and make it difficult to remember how other versions you're familiar with sound like.
And just like great books, this release leaves you wanting more.
After listening to "Flirting,..", I'd be just fine if you decided to make a couple more Elling Tape Project releases!
Needless to say, great choice and exemplary work you guys!