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GIant Steps: Gregory Porter

Thursday, 23 February 2017 12:28

Love, romantic love, love of family, love of art and your fellow is the overall message in the music of multi Grammy winner Gregory Porter.

The baritone voiced crooner has found a way to make loving love cool again...showing love in all it’s complexity, serious and joyful, illuminating and contained. You get the sense that regardless of what path he took professionally...  the professional football player, or the city planner, he would find a way to infuse tender affection and kind sensitivity into his life. Luckily Gregory Porter became a jazz singer after his football hopes were dashed by injury and  his mother on her deathbed insisted he sing because she knew that THAT’s what brought him joy.

Water was the name of Gregory Porter's first album, then Be Good, then Liquid spirit and now the latest,  Take Me to the Alley. Four albums only, from 2010 to now. At 45 years-old Porter would be considered in any profession a late bloomer. But bloom he did. Nat King Cole is the man that Gregory looks up to as a father figure...and musical inspiration -- like the late crooner Porter balances that romantic side with a decent dose of social commentary, dealing with topics that include inequality, poverty, black history and of course love of your fellow man.

“I’m trying to come honestly, really trying to be unpretentious. I’m trying to be appealing, even as a jazz artist, to the non-jazz head. Trying to speak to them as well. I want to speak to the human heart.”

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