With a voice that can caress or confront, embrace or exhort, Gregory Porter exhibits such an incredible degree of vocal mastery that no less a jazz luminary than Wynton Marsalis has gone on record to call him „a fantastic
young singer," which makes the fact that Water (out now from Motema Music) is his recording debut even more impressive.
A debut release it may be, yet Water flows with a sense of timelessness that reflects the seasoned talents of the giants of blues, gospel and soul that have influenced Porter throughout his career. Some of the singers that Porter
cites as influential are familiar - Nat King Cole, Joe Williams and Donny Hathaway - and others -- such as the pastor of the church he attended as a child among them - may never realize their impact on his development as an artist.
While the work of singers such as Hathaway or Cole obviously helped to shape Porter's vocal styling, his own world view, as evidenced in his seven original compositions and his striking interpretation of classic songs such
as „But Beautiful" and „Skylark," adds an emotional intensity that makes each of the CD's eleven tracks speak so eloquently.