Recently, I watched the Jazz Journalist Association Awards—an annual, highly anticipated awards show that honors the top musicians of the year as well as the top journalists of the year. Included in this awards ceremony were concerts from some of the leading jazz artists. Of these artists were Gregory Porter, a strong powerful jazz vocalist whose vocal abilities include a mastery in many different unique styles. This pushed me to further look into Porter’s music.
Later, Donna M., a Grammy.com blogger and author of Elements of Jazz, asked me to do a review on Gregory Porter’s latest debut, Grammy nominated album, Water. After my first impressions of Gregory Porter at the JJA Awards, I was excited to listen to Porter’s CD. This album features a timeline of Porter’s influences ranging from Gospel to R&B, Ballad to Bebop, etc. Bridging a gap between the old and the new, Gregory Porter brings in jazz notables like James Spaulding (who has performed with Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Hutcherson, Max Roach, and the Duke Ellington Orchestra) and upcoming artists like powerhouse alto saxophonist Yoske Sato. Check out my review of Gregory Porter’s Water on Elements of Jazz.