Spirit in Sound - Gregory Porter's 'Liquid Spirit'

What I know about Gregory Porter could be written in capital letters on the back of a postage stamp. I think he's American. I've never heard him speak or seen any photos other than those on album covers. But his music moves me and I'm sure that, if I met him, I would like him.

There's a song he sings about a lion. I wish I could remember what it's called, but I love it when I hear it.

Louis Armstrong's famous quote - "if you have to ask what jazz is, you'll never know" - really rings true when it comes to people like Gregory Porter. It just IS jazz. I'm sure the bulk of the tracks on 'Liquid Spirit' feature some improvisation. Musicians being given the freedom to express themselves is intensely interesting and attractive. Billie Holiday allegedly hated ever singing a song the same way twice. That's where I come from and this album feels that way, too.

After just a few plays through of the album, my favourite track is 'I fall in love too easily'. Partly because I do, but mostly because of the arrangement. There's light and shade aplenty. A moving interpretation of a standard.

One of the things I like most about this album is the clarity of Porter's voice. It's the first thing you hear on several tracks and it seems both liquid and full of spirit. Although produced in 2013, this definitely builds strong roots for my musical 2014. It'll take something very special to knock this off the album of the year spot.

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