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2013 album from the Jazz vocalist. Liquid Spirit marks Gregory Porter's Blue Note Records debut, which arrives on the heels of two critically acclaimed indie label albums that quickly propelled Porter to the upper echelon of contemporary male Jazz singers and earned him two Grammy nominations. Don Was, President of Blue Note, encouraged Porter to stay true to his artistic vision. ''I firmly consider myself a Jazz singer but I enjoy Blues, Southern Soul, and Gospel,'' Porter says, ''Those elements make their way inside my music. And I've always heard them in Jazz.''
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Top Customer Reviews
I decided to buy the album; I have been listening it at least once a day. You cannot stop once you start listening the songs.
I would recommend it to anyone who loves music.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Many people have compared him to the likes of Sam Cooke, Bill Withers, Otis Redding, Lou Rawls, Les McCann, Johnny Hartman and of course, Nat King Cole. Why do we search for a comparison? I can only think it's because the authenticity & intimacy in his voice and lyrics, makes us happy & comfortable and familiar only because it's like we are listening to an old friend...A friend we have known for many years....we know this guy...he is US.
It has been said that jazz is a powerful, living, breathing art form that uplifts, connects and transforms us. In my opinion, that is just what he does. He can transform his sounds into something new, yet familiar. His lyrics communicate specific emotional, spiritual and intellectual life, with an approach of perfect pitch and all wrapped up with a whole bunch of soul.
Some of the highlights for me are "No Love Dying" and "I Fall In Love Too Easily" beautifully telling us that mistakes in love may be where pain comes from but ultimately it is also the source of great joy. "Lonesome Lover" written by Abbey Lincoln & Max Roach, never got the play that it deserved and Porter keeps the song's integrity but makes it new and now, maybe it will be included in the Great American Songbook (where it belongs). "Musical Genocide" tells us how we cannot forget music's past. "The In Crowd" and "Movin'" take us back in time, kickin' it old school, and making us smile in contentment. "Liquid Spirit" is a hand clapping, goin' to church, testifying, rockin' song that if you don't feel good after hearing it, you better call the undertaker, because you must be dead! And most importantly, "When Love Was King", with lyrics that have a "Nature Boy" vibe but also for me, I thought of Ellington's "Is God A Three Letter Word For Love", in it's intent. Some critics might find it sappy but I found it to be a beautiful melody with a very poignant yet hopeful lyric.
And like the good friend that we feel he is, he has kept his great personnel with him from his previous recordings. If it's working, don't mess up a good thing! And it's quite apparent that he shares a sibling like simpatico with collaborator & pianist, Chip Crawford, who adds so much to this album.
The rest of the personnel are all standouts too. They are, Yosuke Sato, Alto Sax; Tivon Pennicott, Tenor Sax; Aaron James, Double Bass; Emanuel Harold, Drums.
The only thing that could have made this even better is if it were a "live" performance because after all in jazz, it's the "for the moment" sets that jazz is all about.
The `best of the best' on this recording begins with the gospel-tinged Grammy-nominated song "Liquid Water", which is driven along by hand-claps, grooving horns, James' bass figurations, and Chip Crawford's staccato piano funk. The powerful Max Roach-Abbey Lincoln gem "Lonesome Lover" is marvelous, pushed along in 4/4 swing with a 6/8 vamp with a hot Yosuke Sato alto solo. "Hey Laura" and "Brown Grass" are ballads that intensely lay out the story of troubled romances gone wrong. The very hip, bluesy "Free" and "Movin'" are autobiographical marvels showing the positive influence of family on Porter and show his backup group at its best. The engaging "now and forever' theme of "Wind Song" is propelled along nicely by Harrold's drums, James' bass, and Crawford's sparkling piano. The beautiful 'fairy tale'-like ballad "When Love Was King" is dedicated to Porter's new son and the world he wants to raise him in, getting a very emotional performance. "Musical Genocide" has Porter effectively exhorting the timely theme of getting back to the basics of music appreciation. And perhaps best of all, the stunning "I Fall In Love Too Easily" gets a tender and passionate reading from Porter using his entire baritone range, backed by only by the rhythm section and with a marvelous Crawford piano solo. Of special mention throughout are the pianistic fireworks and shadings of pianist Chip Crawford and the saxophone soloists, who all interact wonderfully with Porter here as in live performances. Produced by Brian Bacchus, "Liquid Spirit" is a marvelous recording showing why Greg Porter, hailed as one of the first-rank jazz singers of the day, is also a prolific poet/lyricist backed by a spirited group that brings the music to life. Highly Recommended. Five FABULOUS Stars! (14 tracks; Time-57:23.)
Once I logged into Amazon, I listened to the sample of the first track and knew I had to buy this album! It only took me 20 seconds of listening to the first song to make that decision. That's how you know someone's music is GOOD! To not know about him at all and just love the sound instantly.
I highly recommend this album. His vocals are very soothing. Reminds me of sitting on a patio and relaxing with a coffee or bourbon. His songs are so reflective, too. "Wolfcry" is a very introspective ballad. The instrumentation on each of the tracks just make you want to nod your head and his vocals make you want to raise you hand and testify.
I haven't been THIS moved by an album in such a long time.
My favorites: No Love Dying....unbelievable lyrics and melody.
Free.....He does this with such feeling.
I just can't give enough praise for this talented Singer and his band. Thank you so much Gregory, Chip, Aaron, Emanuel, and Yosuke!!!
Thank you Gregory, I listened to your testimony and you inspired me to continue to be original in a synthetic world of music. Pure vocal and instrumental talent, so rare, but SO FINE! Keep blessing us with your originality. You will go down in history with the likes of Nat King Cole and the rest. I turned my teenagers on to real jazz. You moved my daughters, they said you would have been my husband in another life:) Your wife and family should treasure every moment God grants you in this life. You are a precious gift from on high!