Liquid Spirit: The Soul of Gregory Porter
Thursday, January 9, 2014
Jazz has always held a sweet spot with me. The explosions of instrumentals that reach deep down and touch the soul, the smooth voices, the feelings and emotions that it drudges up, Jazz is powerful. My favorite jazz artists seem to mostly be in the crossover section. With beautiful jazzy melodies that any jazz fan can get behind and then a soulful smooth voice that any R&B or soul listener can get behind. That’s my kind of jazz. So you can imagine that a presence like Gregory Porter is sure to be in the collection.
In September of 2013 Gregory Porter put out his latest masterpiece, Liquid Spirit. The music and feel of the album is so on point with the name that it’s perfect. The spirit just flows out of this music and into the heads and hearts of the listeners like water. It’s a perfect name for a fantastic album.
Strangely enough, it’s taken Gregory Porter around 20 years of performing and making music to finally get seen but through perseverance and talent he has arrived and is considered to be one of the top rising stars in the jazz scene. He deserves every second of it.
His voice, comparable to the classics like Marvin Gaye and Lou Rawls, keeps you entertained in elegantly placed jazz arrangements with meaningful, sometimes personal and, most certainly, heartfelt lyrics.
The opening track No Love Dying sounds off with “The bird that flew in through my window/Simply lost his way./He broke his wing I helped him heal and then he flew away/Well the death of love is everywhere/But I wont let it be/There will be no love dying here for me.” If that wasn’t beautifully put enough, the album continues to bring fantastic lyrics to match the wonderful music.
It’s not all whimsical smooth jazz and soul though, the title track Liquid Spirit hits with a gospel influenced, feel-good banger, laid over some soul claps with funky piano riffs and brilliant bass the song is nothing short of a toe tapper.
If you missed this album I recommend it. Not a Jazz fan? I still recommend it. This album speaks to much more than just fans one of America’s most brilliant genres that has been, in some ways, pushed into the corner. Albums like this threaten, or more hopefully promise, to bring it back and remind us that Jazz and soul are very much alive.
Check out some of his older work too, like this video for the fantastic track from his previous album. This song is deeply personal, tells a fantastic story and really sets the mood for what Gregory Porter is all about.