Gregory Porter, Lion in the Subway


Gregory Porter a local talent who has just rocked the international national music scene with his release called Liquid Spirit. He was recently rewarded with the 2014 Grammy award for the best jazz album of the year.

Born in 1971 in Los Angeles California Gregory came to my attention two years ago and with talent like this I wonder why it took so long to catch my ear.

His debut album, Water, released in 2010 via Motéma Music, was nominated for Best Jazz Vocal album at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards. He was also a member of the original Broadway cast of It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues. His second album, Be Good, which is my personal favorite contains many of Porter's compositions, was released on February 14, 2012, and garnered critical acclaim for both his distinctive singing and his compositions, such as "Be Good (Lion's Song), "Real Good Hands", and "On My Way To Harlem". The title track was also nominated for Best Traditional R&B Performance at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards.

Please watch and listen to this interview on NPR, as it gives you a version of “Be Good (Lion's Song)” that is not available on CD and is essentially a duet where his exquisite vocal phrasings and lyricism can be distinctively heard. 

Porter always wears a modified flat cap for public appearances. The reason for this is not entirely clear, but he has mentioned its role as a security blanket and refers to it as his "jazz hat."

He was signed by Blue Note Records (Universal Music Group) on May 17, 2013, and his third album, Liquid Spirit, was released on September 2, 2013, in Europe and on September 17, 2013, in the US. With the blue note backing and their marketing it is no wonder that his career finally took off. The album won the 2014 Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album.

If you enjoy his music he does appear in Los Angeles; however it may be quite some time before he comes back he is on a world wide tour. I do not see any California performances for 2014. I have a friend in the UK who I sent a few song to and she says he has become her favorite jazz vocalist.

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