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Gregory Porter

Gregory Porter discovered the music of Nat King Cole through his mother. At the age of five he wrote a song called “Once Upon A Time, I Had A Dreamboat” and recorded it onto a tape. When his mother returned home from work and heard it, she exclaimed in amazement "Boy, you sound like Nat King Cole." From that moment on, Gregory had a desire to know more about this man and his music, and spent hours playing his mother’s old Cole records on his plastic Playskool record player. Since then, Gregory's passion and commitment to expressing himself through music has remained strong, and he has developed a distinct style that ranges from jazz, funk, R&B, blues and gospel—one that is soulful while still maintaining the elegance he learned from his earlier influences. Currently, Gregory has developed a show that is a tribute to the music and memory of Nat Cole

ARTICLE: RADIO

Sting: An English (Jazz-)Man in New York - Part 1

Read "Sting: An English (Jazz-)Man in New York - Part 1" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

From his early years as a bassist in the trad Phoenix Jazzmen, the straight-ahead Newcastle Big Band, and the fusion quintet Last Exit, to his collaborations with idols like Gil Evans and Miles Davis, jazz has been a constant in Sting's artistic path. This week, we feature music from his jazzier projects as a leader or ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Music Is Forever - Farewell to Annie Ross

Read "Music Is Forever - Farewell to Annie Ross" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

In the first hour, a special tribute to Jazz Master Annie Ross (who sadly passed days before her 90th birthday), plus new releases from Mark Masters, Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers (a 1959 never released studio recording!), Jimmy Heath, Eva Cortés and Bettye Lavette, with birthday shoutouts to Margaret Whiting, Joanne Brackeen, Lisa Maxwell, Rufus ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

How Sweet it Is

Read "How Sweet it Is" reviewed by H William Stine

Sweet. It's a word you don't hear much, especially now. Home Sweet Home? After four months of sheltering in place, what's so sweet about being home? Sweet Dreams? It's been months since I had one. Sweet Spot? I know what it used to mean, but now it means keeping six feet away from people. Sweet Nothings? ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Jimmy Heath: Love Letter

Read "Love Letter" reviewed by Thomas Fletcher

Often nicknamed “Little Bird," Jimmy Heath began on the alto saxophone acquiring this informal title by dedicating his studies to Charlie Parker and his wee stature. Although not a familiar name to many outside of the devoted jazz community, Heath would go on to pursue a remarkable 76-year career sadly passing away in January, 2020. A ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Jimmy Heath: Love Letter

Read "Love Letter" reviewed by Chris May

Love Letter is the final album to be made by saxophonist Jimmy Heath, who passed in January 2020 aged 93. It was completeted just a month earlier. The title is well chosen: the album is a love letter to jazz, a love letter to ballads, and a love letter to Heath's surviving family members, friends and ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

I See You; I Hear You

Read "I See You; I Hear You" reviewed by H William Stine

I think one of the responsibilities of having a microphone every week is knowing when to shut up. I did that (for the most part) this week and let singers and songwriters who for so many years have seen and heard with perception and then written with eloquent honesty about this painful struggle playing out once ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

50th Anniversary Blue Notes for June

Read "50th Anniversary Blue Notes for June" reviewed by Marc Cohn

Blue Note 50th anniversaries from June 1970, just two though: Horace Silver (That Healin' Feelin') and Lou Donaldson (Pretty Things). There was also a Reuben Wilson session, but it was never released, and only the 'vault gods' know if it was any good. But you know there's more (don't you?). 21st century music from the Posi-Tone ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Peter Campbell: Old Flames Never Die

Read "Old Flames Never Die" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

There's a “square peg, round hole" problem holding vocalist Peter Campbell back in the renown department. He doesn't fall into the resounding soul-stirrer category, à la Gregory Porter, the bop poet-philosopher niche, ruled by Kurt Elling, the pure experimentalist's camp, typified by Theo Bleckmann, the neo-soul realm, occupied by José James, the group-minded singer-songwriter space(s), elevated ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Laila Biali: Out Of Dust

Read "Out Of Dust" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

There's no boxing Laila Biali in. A sharp-minded songwriter, respected pianist and celebrated vocalist who straddles jazz and pop with unusual ease and strength of vision, Biali is truly beyond category. Possessing clear eyes, a perceptive mien and a sharpshooters's gifts in regard to emotional aim, she often expresses more in a single breath than others ...


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