Take 3 returns to CJ this week with featured artist Gregory Porter. Currently top of the jazz charts across Europe, Porter is more than just the flavour of the month. He’s in it for the long term and when we interviewed Porter with our sister ICR show BIAS Magazine just after the release of his first album, Water, we found him to be modest, charming and engaging.
Neil notes: Porter is in big demand now as featured vocalist on a wide range of projects from the Rongetz Foundation to David Murray but it’s his solo albums that reveal the depths of his talents. He’s both accessible and uncompromising and his band (which he’s taken with him to Blue Note for his latest release Liquid Spirit) is tight and not afraid of expansive, challenging solos in the middle of lyrical original compositions. There’s no dull recycling of jazz standards here. When Porter does tackle a classic from the jazz repertoire like But Beautiful or God Bless the Child, he always invests it with something uniquely his own. His rich baritone is somewhere between Kurt Elling and Nat King Cole but the phrasing is all Porter. We initially raved about the epic 1960 What?, Porter’s angry taken on the Detroit riots of the 1960s, but his albums grow with each listening. The quality of his songwriting is perhaps what will mark him out long term and it’s not difficult to imagine something like Be Good (Lion’s Song) become something of a standard itself. If you’re not convinced yet, check him out here – singing live with just keyboard accompaniment on a New York vintage subway train.
- Gabriele Poso – Freedom The Hurst Selection 2
- Patricia Mark feat Joao Parahyba – E O Meu Amor Vi Passar from Brazilian Love Affair 4
- James Williams – Flying Colours from Kev Beadle presents Private Collection
- Azymuth feat. Sabrina Malheiros – Papa from Brazilian Love Affair 4
- Gregory Porter – Black Nile from Water
- Gregory Porter – On My Way to Harlem from Be Good
- Gregory Porter – Hey Laura from Liquid Spirit
- David Murray Infinity Quartet feat. Gregory Porter – Hope is a Thing with Feathers from Be My Monster Love
- John Coltrane – Mr. P.C. from Live at Birdland
- Fela Kuti – Sorrow Tears and Blood from The Two Sides of Fela
- The Gathering – Lately’s Solo from Leimert Park: Roots and Branches of Los Angeles Jazz
Video this week picks up on one of our favourite CJ artists. Derek and I were lucky enough to see Fela Kuti performing live in London at the Brixton Academy in the 1980s and in celebration of his birthday on 15 October, here’s his complete 1984 Glastonbury performance. Enjoy!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-kMzxA-Ovw