Sunday, September 23, 2012

Gregory Porter Heats Up The Mint in Los Angeles


It was literally standing room only at The Mint Saturday night as jazz singer Gregory Porter took the stage and performed before an appreciative and enthusiastic sold out crowd.

In the tiny, but popular Pico Boulevard venue Porter, wearing his signature bow tie and black hat, didn’t disappoint as he flowed in, out and between some of his most popular songs.

It was already a warm, humid night in Los Angeles, but Porter brought even more heat with his luscious lyrics and tight band that included a bass, piano, drums and a bad-ass sax bringing up the rear.

His style has been described as shades of Donny Hathaway and Bill Withers and Nat King Cole.  That’s high praise, indeed.  However, Porter’s style is clearly his own.  His music has depth and emotion.
 Some artists are only good on their CDs after they’ve been enhanced with technology. Porter’s voice is clear and present. His showmanship and warm repartee with his audience makes him seem like an old friend.  Porter’s show was nothing short of impressive! 

A Los Angeles native who was raised in Bakersfield, but now resides in Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn, Porter has two CDs to his credit, his 2010 debut, Water and his latest offering, Be Good. However, the evening felt like the tall, burly singer was presenting a decades-long discography.

Of course, he performed songs from both CDs.  His turn on the hip On The Way to Harlem, 1960 What and Be Good (Lions Song), sent the crowd whirling.

But they were just as excited to hear the intimate Illusion, as well as Real Good Hands and Painted on Canvas.

The Grammy-nominated recording artist is known for his simmering ballads, as well as up-tempo grooves. He’s just as effective doing both.

What a great night of music!!!

Some music critics have been skeptical about  where music is going. Jazz enthusiasts and critics can rest easy.  The genre is safe in Gregory Porter’s hands.

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