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Blue Note

Gregory Porter ‎– Liquid Spirit

$45.00

Blue Note

Gregory Porter ‎– Liquid Spirit

$45.00

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A TAV Essential Listening Album.

Liquid Spirit is the third studio album by American jazz musician Gregory Porter. It was released through Blue Note Records in 2013. The album won Best Jazz Vocal Album at the 2014 Grammy Awards.

“After two solid albums on Motema, both of which earned Grammy nominations, singer and songwriter Gregory Porter makes his Blue Note debut with Liquid Spirit. A singer whose quicksilver vocal style refuses to be caged by either jazz, gospel, or R&B, his warm, inviting baritone utilizes them all when he wishes to.

Using the musicians who appeared with him on 2012's Be Good -- Yosuke Sato and Tivon Pennicott, saxophones; Chip Crawford, piano; Aaron James, bass, Emanuel Harrold, drums -- Porter wrote or co-wrote 11 of these 14 songs. There is a dynamite reading of Billy Page's hard-grooving "The In Crowd" that highlights Porter's rhythmic phrasing. Though it's a soul tune at heart, he swings hard. The cover of Max Roach's and Abbey Lincoln's "Lonesome Lover" evokes the soulful post-bop spirit of the original and offers a bracing portrait of the singer's command of his own upper range.

Covers aside, the real strength of Liquid Spirit lies in Porter's songs: his lyrics and melodies are as rich as his voice.

Opener "No Love Dying Here" walks a line between jazz and soul; its life-affirming words are underscored by the effortless conviction and authority in his vocal, while Sato's alto saxophone solo affirms the lyric. The fingerpopping, handclapping gospel groove in the title track is punched up by saxophones and Curtis Taylor's trumpet. The call-and-response between Porter and James' bass is tasty, and one can hear a trace of Donny Hathaway in the singer's commanding, heartfelt delivery. "Hey Laura" is characterized by Porter's relaxed but utterly sincere delivery, and packs a knock-out emotional punch in his protagonist's plea to the object of his affection. "Brown Grass" is a close second in the emotional punch department; it's a love song to be sure, but a sadder one. Porter articulates his protagonist's regrets simply and honestly, and therefore resonantly.

For all of his innovative ability to effortlessly combine, shift, and shape various musical genres in his own image, Porter is militantly old school -- check "Musical Genocide," as he celebrates the music of the past with a popping piano, hard-grooving horns, funky Rhodes, and swelling B-3. On the tender ballad "Wolfcry," he is accompanied only by Crawford; it's so hip and melodically rich, it could easily have been sung by a young Nat Cole. The way he and his band move through blues, jazz, gospel, and R&B -- simultaneously -- on the declamatory testimonial "Free" is breathtaking. The intro to "Movin'," near set's end, suggests Bill Withers, but Porter quickly shifts it into higher gear with the horns punctuating the ends of his sung lines.

While his first two recordings revealed a major new talent with their promise, Liquid Spirit is a giant step forward artistically, and for the listener, an exercise in musical inspiration. ~ Thom Jurek” – Blue Note Records

“A record of gorgeous, propulsive, lyrical story-songs that allow his soulful voice to ricochet from Joe Williams to Stevie Wonder, from Kurt Elling to Donnie Hathaway. This is the kind of jazz that grabs snatches of gospel, blues, and soul with fluid skill. But the freedoms that Porter takes with time, his combination of supreme vocal control and masterful tonal variety, his willingness to sing with an aching vulnerability—those things make it jazz. Well, that and a killer acoustic rhythm section and a hip pair of saxophonists that spice up several tunes. The good kind of jazz. The kind that moves you.” – PopMatters

 

 

About Gregory Porter:

“Jazz, soul, and gospel singer, songwriter, and actor Gregory Porter was born in Los Angeles, California but grew up in Bakersfield, California, where his mother was a minister. As a child, he fell under the spell of his mother's Nat King Cole records, learning to imitate and sing like Cole, but his early aspirations were in sports. He was awarded a football scholarship to attend San Diego State University, but after an injury to his shoulder derailed his sports career, he began performing in local jazz clubs, which is where he met saxophonist, composer, and pianist Kamau Kenyatta. Kenyatta became Porter's mentor, introducing him to flutist Hubert Laws, who featured Porter's vocals on a track on his 1998 album Hubert Laws' Remembers the Unforgettable Nat King Cole. Laws' sister, Eloise Laws, heard Porter during the studio sessions and was impressed with his singing; he helped him get cast as one of the leads in a new musical It Ain't Nothing But the Blues, which eventually enjoyed a run on Broadway. The gates were open for Porter. His debut album, Water, appeared in 2010, and was followed by a second, Be Good, released two years later in 2012. In September of 2013, Porter (accompanied by Airto) appeared on a track from Kentiyah Presents Evolutionary Minded: Furthering the Legacy of Gil Scott-Heron, with M-1, Brian Jackson, Chuck D., Killah Priest, Martin Luther, and others; a week later, he issued his third album, Liquid Spirit, produced by Brian Bacchus. ~ Steve Leggett” – Blue Note Records

Item description:

Artist:

Gregory Porter

Title:

Liquid Spirit

Label:

Blue Note

Format:

2 × Vinyl, LP, Album

Pressing:

Europe

Release Date:

2013

Genre:

Jazz

Style:

Contemporary Jazz, Male Vocals

Catalog No:

0602537431540

Condition:

New