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Gregory Porter - Nat 'King' Cole And Me (2017)

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Gregory Porter - Nat 'King' Cole And Me (2017)

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1 	Mona Lisa 	4:19
2 	Smile 	4:18
3 	Nature Boy 	3:45
4 	L-O-V-E 	2:09
5 	Quizas,Quizas, Quizas 	4:31
6 	Miss Otis Regrets 	4:31
7 	Pick Yourself Up 	3:12
8 	When love Was King 	7:44
9 	The Lonely One 	4:34
10 	Ballerina 	2:54
11 	I Wonder Who My Daddy Is 	3:48
12 	But Beautiful 	4:33
13 	Sweet Lorraine 	3:36
14 	For All We Know 	5:33
15 	The Christmas Song 	3:46

Arranged By, Conductor, Producer – Vince Mendoza
Bass – Reuben Rogers
Drums – Ulysses Owens
Orchestra – The London Studio Orchestra
Piano – Christian Sands
Trumpet – Terence Blanchard (tracks: 4,15)
Vocals – Gregory Porter


On his fifth studio album, 2017's lovingly produced Nat "King" Cole & Me, singer Gregory Porter takes a purposefully traditional approach, paying tribute to one of his biggest influences, legendary vocal icon Nat King Cole. To help craft his tribute, Porter recorded the album with Grammy Award-winning arranger Vince Mendoza and the illustrious London Studio Orchestra, as well as several tracks featuring Los Angeles studio stalwarts. Also on board are Porter's longtime bandmates, pianist Christian Sands, bassist Reuben Rogers, and drummer Ulysses Owens. While primarily known for his contemporary, genre-crossing style of jazz and R&B, Porter here leans nicely into a distinctly old-school sound. Mendoza frames the singer's warm, supple voice with shimmering orchestral arrangements that wouldn't be out of place during the golden age of '50s and early-'60s traditional pop. While never mimicking Cole's distinctive style, Porter manages to straddle the line between evincing the storied artist's burnished vocal sound, and displaying his own virtuoso talents. Tracks like the Cole songbook regulars "Nature Boy," "Mona Lisa," and "The Christmas Song" are lushly arranged renditions that envelop the listener. Also engaging are the upbeat swingers like "Ballerina" and "L-O-V-E," which features a guest solo appearance from trumpeter Terence Blanchard. There's also a cinematic quality to many of the cuts, as on "Miss Otis Regrets," in which Mendoza's dramatic, classical-tinged opening quickly settles into an intimate, candlelit reading of the melancholy classic. Porter even applies his vintage-influenced approach to a reworking of his original "When Love Was King." Romantic, sophisticated, and rich with vocal prowess, Nat "King" Cole & Me lives up to both Cole and Porter's own immense creative reputations. ---Matt Collar, AllMusic Review


„Nat King Cole & Me”, jest osobistym hołdem złożonym twórczości legendarnego wokalisty i pianisty, który obudził w małym Gregorym Porterze miłość do muzyki. „Powrót do moich korzeni był dla mnie najbardziej naturalnym ruchem. Te korzenie to moja matka, muzyka gospel i Nat King Cole” – wyjaśnia Porter.

„Nat King Cole & Me” to jego trzeci album w wytwórni Blue Note, pierwszy nagrany z pełną orkiestrą pod dyrekcją Vince’a Mendozy. Płyta została nagrana w londyńskich AIR Studios i zawiera 12 ulubionych przez Portera nagrań z repertuaru Cole’a, w tym „Smile”, „L-O-V-E” oraz „Nature Boy”. Na wydawnictwie znalazła się również inspirowana twórczością Cole’a, oryginalna kompozycja Portera – „When Love Was King”, która pierwotnie pojawiła się na obsypanym nagrodami Grammy albumie „Liquid Spirit”.

„Mój ojciec nie był obecny w moim życiu, a słowa piosenek Nata były jak życiowe lekcje, słowa mądrości i ojcowskiej rady jakiej potrzebowałem” – wyjaśnia źródła swojej inspiracji Gregory Porter. Miłość do twórczości Cole’a zaowocowała nawet pół-autobiograficznym musicalem „Nat King Cole & Me”, którego premiera odbyła się w 2004 r. „Nat King Cole był jedyny w swoim rodzaju. Pozostawił tak wspaniałą muzykę, że zwyczajnie nie można się nią nie inspirować” – podsumowuje swoją fascynację Gregory Porter. --- jazzforum.com.pl

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