The last couple of weekends we’ve profited from some of the local free or very inexpensive open-air concerts. This evening we’re off to Jazz at Juan to see a couple of artists including the one I’m featuring here. All this evening’s audience will be wearing masks and either have proof of vaccination (Covid passport) or evidence of a negative Covid test.
Gregory Porter is an American singer and songwriter who has twice won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album: first in 2014 for Liquid Spirit, and then again in 2017 for Take Me to the Alley.
His career began while singing in a restaurant where he worked in Brooklyn in 2004. He performed at other neighbourhood venues before maintaining a weekly residency at a local club. His third album released in 2013 won the 2014 Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album. Liquid Spirit enjoyed commercial success rarely achieved by albums in the jazz genre, reaching the top 10 on the UK album charts, selling over 100,000 units.
The following year, Porter released “The ‘In’ Crowd” as a single and in 2015 participated in VE Day 70: A Party to Remember, a televised commemorative concert from Horse Guards Parade in London, singing “As Time Goes By”.
His fourth album, Take Me to the Alley, was released in 2016, the same year Porter performed at Glastonbury. The Daily Telegraph said:
The portly middle-aged jazzer may be the oddest pop star on the planet but he is a refreshing testament to the notion that the most important organ for musical appreciation should always be our ears. And Porter has one of the most easy-on-the-ear voices in popular music, a creamy baritone that flows thick and smooth across a rich gateaux of juicy melody. It’s a voice that makes you want to lick your lips and dive right in.
That same year, Porter performed at Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park and in the annual BBC Children in Need show on a night dedicated to Sir Terry Wogan, who was a fan of Porter.
In 2020, Porter released his sixth studio album All Rise which marks a return to Porter’s beloved original songwriting – heart-on-sleeve lyrics imbued with everyday philosophy and real-life detail, set to a stirring mix of jazz, soul, blues and gospel.
Here’s a quick snippet from his latest album. Just click on “Watch on YouTube” which for inexplicable reasons won’t let me embed the video in my post!!!!