Gregory Porter to Release ‘Be Good’

 

The now Grammy nominated Gregory Porter is becoming quite the force to be reckoned with. Undoubtedly talented and deserving of all the high praises sung of him, Porter is striking while the iron is hot and releasing a sophomore album claimed to outshine his Grammy nominated Water debut.

Be Good, set to release on February 14th, 2012, promises to display a range of moods and stories in Porter’s charming, almost conversational songwriting style. Firstly, folks can look forward to the title track, “Be Good (Lion’s Song),” which has actually been lauded as a crowd favorite during live shows for some time now.

With veteran producer and Be Good collaborator Brian Bacchus comparing the singer to Bill Withers, Curtis Mayfield, and Donny Hathaway, we are beside ourselves anticipating what’s next. Be certain that we’ll be sharing what comes our way!

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Kirk Whalum’s Donny Hathaway Tribute Out Now: Everything is Everything

Donny Hathaway would have been 65 years old on October 1, 2010. Tenor saxophonist Kirk Whalum‘s work has similarly crossed the boundaries between R&B, gospel and jazz with an emotional immediacy that is beyond compare. Kirk’s new release, Everything Is Everything: The Music of Donny Hathaway brilliantly exhibits 8-time Grammy nominee Kirk’s singular interpretive skills. Highlights include “You Had To Know,” featuring a heartfelt performance by Donny’s daughter, Lalah Hathaway, and Musiq Soulchild‘s retro take on “We’re Still Friends.”

RSVP on Facebook to stream his live performance from the Detroit International Jazz Festival this Labor Day weekend, on September 4 at 9 PM (EST).

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Spotlight: Aabaraki

Aabaraki pays tribute to two legendary postmortem singer/songwriters, covering a Classic cover of a classic on The Pre-Release EP, available for free download here.

The Hathaway cover:
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The John Lennon original:
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Comprised of four talented working musicians: Brian Forbes (guitar), Ari Folman-Cohen (bass), Aaron “BLACKDATA” Steele (Drums), and Aamir “Akie” Bermiss (vocals/keys), Aabaraki has been playing their own brand of reduction-stutter-funk together as a unit since the spring of ’09. Separately, they have worked with an impressive range of musicians and producers including Roy Hargrove, Soulive, Patti Smith, The American Symphony Orchestra, Megahertz (Jay-Z, Busta Rhymes, P. Diddy), and Jimmy Lenner (John Lennon, Pink Floyd, Donna Summer).

The current EP reveals a vulnerability (“Terrified,” “Save Me”) and predation (“Girl,” “Big Bad Wolf”) that’s quite common among us humanfolk. Vocalist Aamir “Akie” Bermiss accomplishes this with keys-in-hand, and tongue-in-cheek as he channels the American Everyman. A reflection of our culture, Akie’s creative use of satire is best exemplified halfway through the EP in the up-tempo “Big Bad Wolf:” ‘Haters hate, players play, girl don’t front on me just get undressed. Now you’re free, follow me, to the deepest depths of desire.’

The band is funky, harmonic, minimal, and is consistent throughout the EP, each musician sticking closely to the sound of his instrument without relying on heavy effects that might alter it beyond recognition. They are retro but not throwback, progressive but not cold. In other words, Reduction-stutter-funk at its best.

Aabaraki will be playing in NYC at Fontana’s on September 9th and Rockwood Music Hall every subsequent Thursday. They are also working on a follow-up to The Pre-Release EP to be released in the fall. In the meantime, make sure you download the current project here.

-L.E is a lower east side native, dedicated to engaging in and contributing to the advancement of culture from an objective NewYorkerCentric perspective. Follow L.E at twitter.com/discjockeyle