CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED VOCALIST GREGORY PORTER WILL PERFORM AT SMOKE ON MAY 3 TO CELEBRATE UPCOMING RELEASE OF WATER, HIS MOTEMA MUSIC DEBUT
Vocalist Gregory Porter, who has been lauded by Wynton Marsalis as "a fantastic young singer," will celebrate the release of his Motema Music debut CD, Water, at Smoke Jazz Club this Monday, May 3.
Water will be released on May 11. Although it his Porter's debut, Water flows with a sense of timelessness that reflects the seasoned talents of the giants of blues, gospel and soul that have influenced Porter throughout his career. Some of the singers that Porter cites as influential are familiar - Nat King Cole, Joe Williams and Donny Hathaway - and others - such as the pastor of the church he attended as a child among them - may never realize their impact on his development as an artist. While the work of singers such as Hathaway or Cole obviously helped to shape Porter's vocal styling, his own world view, as evidenced in his seven original compositions and his striking interpretation of classic songs such as "But Beautiful" and "Skylark," adds an emotional intensity that makes each of the CD's eleven tracks speak so eloquently.
For the recording, 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) who plays a featured role on two tracks: "Wisdom" and "Black Nile."
Performing with Porter at Smoke will be several of the same musicians who joined him on the CD, including Spaulding, pianist Chip Crawford, drummer Emanuel Harold, Yoske Sato on alto sax, and Aaron James on bass. For the show at Smoke, Andre Merchison will perform on trumpet, with other special guests also slated to perform.
Immediately following the May 11 release of Water, Porter will head to Chicago for a month long run at the Northlight Theatre, starring in the world premier of "Low Down Dirty Blues." The show will run from May 27 through July 3. Visit www.northlight.org for more information.