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Water by Gregory Porter
Released: Jan 2010
Label: Motema Music,Llc
Gregory Porter joins such modern jazz vocalists as Jose James and Esperanza Spalding in the way that he is informed equally by the Golden Age jazz-pop singers (Nat Cole, Joe Williams) along with protest era soul stars and post-bop musicians. Porter handles the standards "Skylark" and "But Beautiful" with true skill, phrasing them in ways that bend the melodies without bruising their near-perfect structures. Elsewhere, he writes his own numbers, going in a striking number of directions, from the quiet purpose of "Illusion" to the thrilling energy and heated confusion of "1960 What?" A mesmerizing debut from an artist who should be on the vocal jazz scene for decades to come.
Nick Dedina

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