Upward Spiral


Branford Marsalis/Kurt Elling

Upward Spiral is an homage to life -- to living, to loving -- to the importance of savoring every bit of life. On the release the instrumental vocality and instrumentality of Branford Marsalis and Kurt Elling two accomplished creative artists, is showcased in a musical, conversational duet.

The compositions on the album reflect, speak to and of a range of emotions. The bouncy upbeat show tune "There's a Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon for New York" evokes the feeling of traveling, of enjoying life while one can. "Blue Gardenia" and "Blue Velvet" reflect on the joy and beauty of love, of loving. The deeply emotional "Practical Arrangement" vocally expresses the importance of wanting and trying to retain a relationship -- a special love.

Indeed the compositions on Upward Spiral express the words of the song "Here's to Life." It is a voyage of life and speaks of the importance of a life well spent. "The Return," ("Upward Spiral") speaks of life, of beginnings, of rising, of an ascending awareness of the essence of life ("Everything that lives has a birth right from the start...One only lives seconds and it's done. You return to your mother's eye as a star"). And it speaks of endings, and of living life to the fullest, because as it is so poignantly vocally expressed in "Long As You're Living," "You won't be hurried after you're buried." Amen.

©L'cinda Scott-McCall