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Gregory Porter: Nat “King” Cole & Me (Blue Note)

It’s not that Gregory Porter hasn’t put his stamp on standards. Seven years into his reign as arguably the most impressive new voice in jazz, Porter has included exquisite readings of, among others, “Skylark,” “I Fall in Love Too Easily” and “God Bless the Child” across various albums. But far greater emphasis has been placed … Read More “Gregory Porter: Nat “King” Cole & Me (Blue Note)”

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Gregory Porter: Live in Berlin

This past April, when Gregory Porter headlined the Royal Albert Hall, the London Telegraph’s Ivan Hewett perfectly captured the vocalist’s singular majesty as the “combination of that massively authoritative voice and the touchingly confessional nature of his songs that has proved irresistible.” Six weeks later, Porter arrived at the Philharmonie Berlin, a venue that, in … Read More “Gregory Porter: Live in Berlin”

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Various Artists: Jazz Loves Disney

The notion that jazz singers love Disney tunes is hardly new, the relationship stretching from Johnny Mercer’s 1947 rendition of Song of the South’s Oscar-winning “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” to Steve Tyrell’s Disney Standards, from 2006. Never, though, has so ambitious or smartly executed a Disney-themed collection of vocal jazz been assembled as this. Recorded in 2014 and … Read More “Various Artists: Jazz Loves Disney”

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Gregory Porter: Take Me to the Alley

Whatever the discipline, whenever a star rises too far too fast there’s invariably backlash, a too-big-for-his-britches reset. Gregory Porter, his breakout velocity rivaled only by Cécile McLorin Salvant, is surely due. But judging by Take Me to the Alley, his fourth album as leader, anything but sustained praise is unjustified. As a jazz singer he … Read More “Gregory Porter: Take Me to the Alley”

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Gregory Porter/Donald Smith/Mansur Scott/Paul Zanner’s Blue Brass: Great Voices of Harlem

Most buyers will be attracted to this tri-voice project because of jazzman-of-the-hour Gregory Porter. And Porter certainly doesn’t disappoint, offering a dynamic, scat-lined “Moanin’” (reminding us just how much he can sound like Sammy Davis Jr.), a dreamy “Mona Lisa” and an aching “Over the Rainbow” that ranks among his best recordings. But less-celebrated album-mates … Read More “Gregory Porter/Donald Smith/Mansur Scott/Paul Zanner’s Blue Brass: Great Voices of Harlem”

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Gregory Porter: Liquid Spirit

Listening to Gregory Porter, it’s difficult to discern his most venerable quality. There’s the voice-that velvet-wrapped-gravel sound that is both arresting and transporting. There’s his unique way of sieving classic soul sensibilities-a melting pot of Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield-through a jazz filter. And there are the songs-lullabies, protests and everything in between-that … Read More “Gregory Porter: Liquid Spirit”

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Gregory Porter: Water

The intersection of Kurt Elling and Sammy Davis Jr. may seem an unfathomable junction, but that’s precisely where you’ll find Gregory Porter. On his debut album, consisting largely of original tunes that are as uniformly impressive as his sound, Porter takes the best of Davis-the superior interpretive skills, clarion tone and immaculate diction that were … Read More “Gregory Porter: Water”

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