We remember hearing this cut during a 2013 performance at OCC.
Posts Tagged ‘Gregory Porter’
This Throwback Thursday post is all about Fantastic Friday. The first night of 33rd Annual Syracuse Jazz Fest is tomorrow,and if history is any indicator, you just can’t sleep on the splashes of surprise and brilliance that those opening night’s provide.
These photos are from a memorable Friday night at Jazz Fest 2012 (when the event was held at Jamesville Beach). Kenny G seemed to appear magically in the middle of the crowd that night, then marched toward the stage playing with harmonic precision. And of course, as we’ve stated before, the Porter debut in CNY was one of our favorite Jazz Fest performances ever. He sang so good we could almost couldn’t stand it.
We can’t wait for the surprises Frank Malfitano and his staff have up their sleeve tomorrow. Remember last year on Friday when Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Trombone Shorty provided a healthy slice of New Orleans at Jazz Fest?
A Gregory Porter concert is a little like the Matrix: We could tell you what it’s like, but you really have to experience it for yourself.
We wrote in a previous post that it’s difficult to classify Porter, but in his vocals one can hear Nat Cole, Ray Charles, Joe Williams and even Donny Hathaway. He effortlessly blends ballads, shout blues and the sacred sounds of the church.
The superstar jazz singer returned to Central New York Friday for the first time since his appearance at the 2012 Syracuse Jazz Festival. Earlier in the day he did a clinic for students and also talked about his life’s story.
But the real treat was the show.
From the time they hit the stage at about 7:30 p.m. Porter and his band (Chip Crawford, Emmanuel Harrold, Aaron James and Yosuke Sato) nearly blew the doors off Storer Auditorium.
Porter kicked things off with the ballad Be Good, and from the first note, a wave of goosebumps washed over the theater. He sprinkled in Liquid Spirit and No Love Dying from his new album, as well as the crowd favorite On My Way to Harlem.
For an encore they poured it on with the bass-driven cut, 1960 What? which featured Aaron James slapping and literally dancing with his upright instrument.
The music created by the band was spicy like Cajun catfish and Porter’s strong, spiritually connected vocals were smooth like banana pudding.
At the end, most people lingered to soak in the experience, and everyone left satisfied.
WAER FM-88’s Program Director Eric Cohen said it best when he said that for one night, Syracuse became the center of the Jazz Universe.
Here is the new video for Blue Note Recording Artist Gregory Porter. The song is the title track from his third album (due out next week) titled “Liquid Spirit.” Porter will return to Syracuse as the featured artist for the November Legends of Jazz Series at Onondaga Community College.
Saxophone-legend Kenny G may have been the headliner for the first night of Syracuse Jazz Fest on Friday, but Grammy-nominated vocalist Gregory Porter stole the show.
A self-described preachers kid, Gregory impressed those in attendance at Jamesville Beach with songs such as Be Good, On My Way to Harlem, and Mother’s Song. These Sophistasoultastic cuts conjure up images of the Cosby Show of the 80s, Spike Lee’s early films and even the choreography of Garth Fagan.
His song-writing is vivid and his performance high spirited.
To call Porter a jazz singer may be restrictive. His mature and robust sound may be jazz, but it’s corseted in soul and the cadence of his church rearing.
Some singers are vanguards. Nat had it. Donny had it. Ray had it. Sam had it. Stevie has it and yes Porter too, has that vibe of a pioneer.
Jazz Fest Producer Frank Malfitano even said he was one of the most talented jazz singers of the last 3 decades.
During the finale Porter mesmerized the crowd with 1960 What, a homage to cities such as Detroit. Coincidentally, Malfitano used to produce that city’s Jazz Fest.
New fans showered Porter with appreciation during an impromptu meet-and-greet beside the stage following his set. Many shared their disbelief that they weren’t familiar with this man.
From now on his reputation in Syracuse is all good.
To see a video from Porter’s Be Good, which was shot in Baltimore, visit his website.