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  • Water
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars88
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 2 December 2012
Gregory Porter is a very interesting new artist with some very beautiful vocals. On his debut album "Water", his voice drifts along suave Jazz compositions telling the songs stories with skill and ease. Not only are the vocals interesting, the melodies of the songs are very well constructed and the arrangements are of a very high standard, making his debut an instant classic.

"Illusion" is a melancholic piano led Jazz ballad with heartfelt vocals and sweet melody. "Pretty" is much more uptempo and packed with rhythm and saxophone led improvisations showcasing a different side to Gregory's vocal abilities. "Magic Cup" has very distinctive vocal phrasing and a complex melody where Gregory sounds just like a male version of Diana Krall. "Skylark" is interpreted with Soul and sounds romantic and soothing. "Black Nile" injects rhythm once again into this release and is very smooth and likeable whilst "Wisdom" is very sentimental and emotional with improvised sections and varied instrumentation. "1960 What", with its Funk influenced elements and Soul vocals, is a standout track on here and adds a Gospel and Blues feel to the release. "But Beautiful" and the title track "Water" are stylish piano led ballads and "Lonely One" is a simple yet effective Jazz ballad. The final track "Feeling Good" is a strong cover version of one of Nina Simone's best known hits and ends the album with a sense of fulfillment.

"Water" is a very accomplished debut album from an artist who has developed his sound over the years and who is comfortable with where he sits in the music industry. Gregory Porter's vocals are very special and the accompanying music has been carefully selected to showcase them in each and every song which has created a very magical record.
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on 16 April 2011
I watched Jools Holland last night, and when Gregory Porter started singing, I held my breath, it was so fantastic. There are not many times this has happened to me, but the man's voice is wonderful.

I have not heard of this singer before, and I want to know why he is not doing any gigs in the UK?

This is great Jazz that concentrates on the melodies and voice. I can only repeat what other reviewers have said, recommend this to your friends, this singer is a marvel!
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on 7 November 2013
I'm not going to write a diatribe about the inns and out of every track- if you have the time to listen to this one then you're in for a treat.
This is spiritual, clean and real.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 13 January 2012
Over the last few years, it seems that most vocalists involved with Jazz, have been attempting some kind of "crossover" to break through to the wider markets available in the pop audience.

How refreshing it is then, to hear a proper Jazz album where the band leader, primary composer and featured soloist just happens to be a vocalist. No compromises are made and it's all acoustic instruments throughout, with no clever production techniques - just a crystal clear mix that gives everybody space to be heard.

If Gregory Porter had been a Sax player he could have been somebody like John Coltrane and the style of this album is very much from that era and the rhythm section "feel" and piano voicings could have come from A Love Supreme or Coltrane's Sound.

Of course the fact that vocals dominate throughout, makes this a more approachable album and the pre-fusion Jazz rhythms, give a sort of "classic" and rootsy feel to the music that is very appealing. But because Porter writes a lot of this album (which gives him great credit of course)it brings it all up to date and doesn't mean this is stuck in the 1960s - even when he is writing about that period in the stand-out track : '1960 What'.

Throughout, we also have great Jazz playing and improvising, especially from Chip Crawford on Piano - but there are also fluent and exciting horn solos on tracks like Wayne Shorter's 'Black Nile' - which is taken at a blisteringly fast tempo. This is real Jazz - a band interacting and working together and not just a star vocalist going through his repertoire of standards.

This is no doubt why JazzWise magazine's reviewers voted this their album of the year for 2011 and I have no doubt it deserves this and the wider attention it will get because of this. A must-listen album for contemporary Jazz, with more than a nod to the history and tradition of the music.
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on 10 April 2015
I love his voice, but I wasn't that keen on the arrangements in certain areas. I was rather disappointed I'm afraid.
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on 1 July 2014
Amazon asked me if this album met my expectations. ....... I SAY NO.... This is a totally awesome album.... I should know as this will be my fifth copy ... miss it at ur peril xxx
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on 30 October 2014
Greg is the new voice of jazz, it's all down to him now. I just love the arrangements, the band and Greg.
Awesome, no simpering rent boys dancing around. Greg is giant. A mans, man. Hear this Simon Cowell, you cretin.
I've been a musician all my life, I heard this album and actually wept, tears of joy. He will of course, record with pin-heads and Jools (bloody) Holland. Yes, Gilson once played in my band. I'm exiled to France and I'm old, but when I hear Greg, music lives, again
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on 8 December 2011
I saw Gregory Porter perform 'Illusion' on Jools Holland's show earlier this year and fell in love with his velvet vocals and laid back performance. I wrote down his details on a piece of paper and subsequently lost them. Fortunately, Mr Porters performance was included in a Jools Holland highlights of the year show and, on the basis of one song, I downloaded the album from Amazon. A wise move. The album is superb. The mood is bluesy-jazz - and, no, not the usual department store background music - and the vocals are clean and clear. Mr Porter does not rely on vocal gymnastics or dramatic phrasing, which I am sure he is capable of, he just sings the song in a way that pays homage to the music and lyrics. "Water" by Gregory Porter is a top notch album which contains a good balance of original and classic songs.
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on 1 December 2011
Gregory describes this as an album of love and protest inextricably twinned to the emotional drivers in Jazz and as a power to the people. The best track on the CD is the brilliant story of the riots in Detroit USA entitled 1960 What. Without a doubt, this is the best Jazz tune of 2011.
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on 25 October 2013
This starts steadily then takes off. He has a great jazz blues voice with an equally good jazz backup that varies in style and mood according to his songs-well matched. That to me was the beauty of this as that he moves smoothly through different emotions. Definitely worth listening to if you are a jazz blues fans.
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