Gregory Porter: “Pretty” + MP3

Our friends at AMG have dubbed Gregory Porter to be “up there with José James,” as far as male vocalists in the amorphous genre called Jazz. You know how we feel about José James, and we’re more than grateful to hear all this new male vocal talent.

Download the song “Pretty” from his album Water. “Love makes us all crazy,” he says of this song. A soulful tribute to a woman from Porter’s past, “Pretty” is an understated ensemble piece that is bolstered by the alto sax work of Yoske Sato.

Gregory Porter – “Pretty” from Water [MP3]
 

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GPWW 7/12/10: Worldwide Family Mixtape – Rockwell

This week, Gilles Peterson Worldwide features North London DJ and producer Rockwell. In classic GPWW style, Gilles also brings it with a wide ranging mix of music from around the world, including the up-and-coming jazz singer Gregory Porter who we’ve been going on about, Anito O Day, P.E. Hewitt Jazz Ensemble, and a dub remix of a Michael Jackson‘s “La La Means I Love You.” The later part of the show features a mix by Rockwell, including some of his originals and some remixes. This might be the first GPWW show ever to feature a Cash Money Record (but it’s a Rockwell remix of course).

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Part 2
 

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Live Video of Gregory Porter: “Mother”

Last week we brought you soul/jazz musician Gregory Porter and shared a couple of our favorite tracks (“1960 What?” and “Wisdom”). This week, we caught a video shot in the crowd from a live performance at Smoke in NYC of “Mother,” a sweet, soulful song not on the album. You can get more from Gregory Porter on his new album, Water, out now through Motema Music.

Water from Gregory Porter

New jazz artist Gregory Porter exhibits such vocal mastery that no less a jazz luminary than Wynton Marsalis has gone on record to call him “a fantastic young singer.” The debut album, Water, is out now on Motema Music.

For the recording of Water, Gregory Porter tapped a powerful cadre of strong players, among them the iconic alto sax player James Spaulding (Max Roach, Freddie Hubbard, and Bobby Hutcherson, et al). The album consists of original songs, with musical references to the old jazz greats, and a few re-worked standards like the Wayne Shorter song, “Black Nile.”

Saxophonist, pianist and composer Kamau Kenyatta, who Porter also calls his best friend, produced the CD. In fact, it is Kenyatta who bears much of the responsibility for Porter’s career trajectory, which can be traced back to Porter’s early days singing in small jazz clubs in San Diego. He lived there while at San Diego State University which he attended on a football scholarship, as an outside linebacker, until a shoulder injury sidelined him permanently. Kenyatta, along with saxophonist Daniel Jackson (Ray Charles, Buddy Rich, Art Farmer and more) came to recognize Gregory’s other standout talent, and nurtured the burgeoning performer. Kenyatta “taught him what he needed to know.”

Gregory Porter – “1960 What?”
“1960 What?” is somewhat divergent from the rest of the album. This 12-minute soulful track is Water‘s most political song. It’s inspired in part by Kamau Kenyatta’s stories of life in Detroit and by the 1963 assassination of Martin Luther King, as well as Porters’s own experiences growing up in Los Angeles.
 

Gregory Porter – “Wisdom”
“Wisdom” is a song of deep spiritual force, which can easily be interpreted to be about post-Katrina New Orleans. Emphasizing his gospel roots with lyrics that echo the traditional biblical song “Wade in the Water,” Porter metaphorically positions water as an impediment, and wisdom as the means to overcome it.
 

Purchase Water Here

myspace.com/thevoiceofgregoryporter

GPWW 5/24/10 Worldwide Family Mixtape: James Blake

This week Gilles Peterson features a mix by producer/musician James Blake, along with some way-out African, more deep jazz and new James Pants, Janelle Monáe, Joanna Newsom, Flying Lotus, Ital Tek and plenty more. The first track is by an artist called Gregory Porter, who Gilles says you’ll like if you’re into José James. Gilles also gives us his take on the new Jyoti, calling her the Mary Lou Williams of the new generation! “Lots of stuff in the box this week…”

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