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Kurt Elling: 1619 Broadway: The Brill Building Project

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Manhattan’s most famous music address remains best known for the brief period during the late 1950s and early ’60s when young songwriters like Carole King, Gerry Goffin, Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller, Barry Mann and Burt Bacharach were churning out the pop and R&B hits that defined the era. But Kurt Elling, never one to take the narrow view, argues that the Brill was a vital music hub far longer, from the 1930s to well beyond the heyday of doo-wop and bubblegum. So, again working hand-in-glove with pianist/arranger Laurence Hobgood, Elling serves up “On Broadway,” “You Send Me” and the Coasters’ song-cum-comedy-skit “Shoppin’ for Clothes” (with a spoken-word cameo by Christian McBride as a harried haberdasher), but also reaches back to Duke Ellington’s “Tootie for Cootie” and Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen’s “Come Fly With Me” and forward to Paul Simon’s “American Tune.”

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