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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Ah, Gregory Porter, the man with a voice like chocolate dribbling over caramel gives us here the deluxe edition of his album Liquid Spirit. The original album was critically acclaimed but here we are given an extra four tracks with guest stars including Laura Mvula, Jamie Callum and Ben L’Oncle Soul as well as a five track DVD featuring Porter on stage with the Metropole Orksest, conducted by Jules Buckley.

As a singer and songwriter when Porter sings we all sit up to attention waiting to hear that voice of his ooze out, and it always does with charm, warmth, full of soul and a certain amount of hip coolness, this is a man who definitely knows how to work his mojo.

This album is possibly more accessible to everyone rather than those who are into just Jazz. Of course Jazz features here but also there are elements of Gospel, Soul, Blues and Rhythm and Blues which makes this a wonderful album to listen to. Porter’s rich baritone vocals command attention and are just so smooth as he sings his way through all the pieces here. The musical accompaniments, and vocal ones by guest stars also work together well making this a slick and highly enjoyable album that is easy on the ears and a pleasure to listen to.

It is worth watching the DVD here, especially as we have the wonderful piece Hoochie Coochie Man, which is a joy to listen to at any time. Really you can’t go wrong with this deluxe edition.
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on 9 September 2013
To match his first two albums, `Water' &' Be Good,' was perhaps asking a bit too much - a bridge too far?
Whilst this is a fine effort, for me, it's very good, rather than outstanding, as the aforementioned two clearly are. This album lacks the vibrancy and perhaps unsurprisingly the originality of those initial albums. There are 14 tracks, of which GP wrote 11. The albums consist of some typical Porter quality and also several ballads, plus a couple of covers; overall the music is a bit more down tempo than the previous offerings. The band of Chip on tinkling piano and Yosuke on Sax, are complemented with trumpet and Hammond organ on a couple of tracks which adds nicely to the album. `Hey Laura' has `Lion Song' traits and `Lonesome Lover' has a lovely jazzy backdrop .
My personal favourites are `No Love Dying,' which for me is up there with any of his best songs. It was released as a single in the USA. `Liquid Spirit' is typical of the up tempo rhythms of those initial albums, as is `Free.'
`Musical Genocide' is typical of GP's originality, being almost his own musical CV, it's another top track. 'When Love was King' was written and inspired after the birth of his son, Demyan, and of course, `Free' thanks the sacrifices that his parents made for him. Gregory writes and sings from his heart and that is a very endearing feature of his music.
For the first time there may be one or two so -so songs on here, but let's face it, he has a voice to die for, so he gets away with it! After just 3 albums he has an absolutely awesome set list - is there a jazz vocalist out there that can match him?
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on 8 March 2016
The best version of an awesome album. Those in the know, know Blue Note records don't release anything not up to their ridiculously high standards, so even if you don't know Mr Porter (you should) you can be assured that this album is no run of the mill offering.

The runaway track here is "Liquid Spirit" a no nonsense song about the greed of man (read capitalism) that deprives people of their basic needs like water. Even if you're a dance aficionado you will have heard this track thanks to the excellent house reworking by Claptone which is also included on this Deluxe Edition.

So I've written paragraphs and only mentioned one track so far. I could go into details about the melancholy blues genius that is Water Under Bridges, the perfectly arranged cover of The In Crowd or the other 15 or so tracks (there are 19 presented) but all are just superb.

If you have a decent stereo state this disc will make your stereo shine. Those of you into Blue Note jazz may have noticed that original recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder has been painstakingly digitally remastering a lot of the back catalogue to get the best from CD format. This disc will never need that. Every detail in the bass, cymbal etc is presented and every hammer strike in the piano carries a meaningful emotion. Combined with Porters earthy vocal timbre you have an amazing record. Buy it and enjoy the brilliant album.
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on 25 September 2013
Another good CD from Gregory Porter - some songs that I am sure will become catchy. My 10 year old loves Gregory Porter too - her verdict was good but more "slow" songs than previous albums.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 17 September 2013
"Liquid Spirit" is the marvelous third recording and first on Blue Note by Grammy-nominated singer, composer, actor, and leader Gregory Porter, who gives a masterful performance of 11 original songs and 3 standards, keeping up the momentum of his preceding recordings: Water and Be Good. Some singers only interpret the music of others, but Porter has the ability to uniquely see the world and then express his own viewpoints through potent lyrics that occur 'organically', a booming expressive baritone voice, and his musical group. He is accompanied by his long-time associates: Chip Crawford on piano, Aaron James on bass, Emanuel Harrold on drums, Tivon Pennicott on tenor sax, Yosuke Sato on alto sax, and Curtis Taylor on trumpet. When performing, Porter always wears his distinctive 2-piece Kangol hat and balaclava headgear.

The `best of the best' on this recording begins with the gospel-tinged "Liquid Water", which is driven along by hand-claps, grooving horns, James' bass figurations, and Chip Crawford's staccato piano funk. The powerful Max Roach-Abbey Lincoln gem "Lonesome Lover" is marvelous, pushed along in 4/4 swing with a 6/8 vamp with a hot Yosuke Sato alto solo. "Hey Laura" and "Brown Grass" are ballads that intensely lay out the story of troubled romances gone wrong. The very hip, bluesy "Free" and "Movin'" are autobiographical marvels showing the positive influence of family on Porter and show his backup group at its best. The engaging "now and forever' theme of "Wind Song" is propelled along nicely by Harrold's drums and Crawford's sparkling piano. The beautiful 'fairy tale'-like ballad "When Love Was King" is dedicated to Porter's new son and the world he wants to raise him in, getting a very emotional performance. "Musical Genocide" has Porter effectively exhorting the timely theme of getting back to the basics of music appreciation. And perhaps best of all, the stunning "I Fall In Love Too Easily" gets a tender and passionate reading from Porter using his entire baritone range, backed by only by the rhythm section and with a marvelous Crawford piano solo. Of special mention throughout are the pianistic fireworks and shadings of pianist Chip Crawford and the saxophone soloists, who all interact wonderfully with Porter here as in live performances. Produced by Brian Bacchus, "Liquid Spirit" is a marvelous recording showing why Greg Porter, hailed as one of the first-rank jazz singers of the day, is also a prolific poet/lyricist backed by a spirited group that brings the music to life. Highly Recommended. Five FABULOUS Stars! (14 tracks; Time-57:23.)
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on 1 July 2014
Hey, I'm only a couple of years from retirement and still love beautiful music. Heard/saw Gregory on Jules Holland's Hootenany and fell in love with the modern tilt on a traditional soul/funk/jazz genre. Finally bought this album and cannot get enough - this will be a classic and last a long time in peoples' collections. This album has a perfect title as the variance is truly liquid. I would imagine ( if I was quite a few years younger) this is the backgound (and foreground) album I would play when entertaining the future love of my life (perhaps there is still time to use it......)- quite an accolade - one of the finest albums I have ever purchased (and we are talking several hundreds).
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on 1 May 2015
There are a fair number of reviews that say this album is not as good as previous ones, but for me this is an all time classic.

The sound is more Blues-Soul than Jazz which is where the problem possibly lies with the purists, but the superb “stripped back acoustic” sound makes this a very intimate listen. Close your eyes and on a decent system this guy is right there with his band a few feet in front of you, delivering a pitch and note perfect performance with nowhere to hide.

There are few albums where when you want to sit back with a glass of wine and unwind that you don’t end up reaching for the skip button for some of the tracks… but this is one of those rarities. Gregory reaches inside your mind with an honesty that is rare with so many over-produced albums these days.

So for me Gregory … lets have more of this… it’s unique and refreshing…and transcends your earlier mainstream jazz albums.
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on 13 June 2015
that is all there is too say, other than IF you have heard of Gregory Porter, well this is the Album to buy to enjoy.
Of course its even better if your having a liquid spirit with it, a nice single malt comes to mind.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 9 September 2013
This is firmly in the mould of Water and Be Good and it sounds very much like those abums - with the same all acoustic, small Jazz group feel.

He is now, appropriately enough on Blue Note - as this is clearly the sound that Gregory Porter loves - all those classic albums on that label, from the period when Jazz was the popular music of the day.

However, this album sees a move away to more and shorter tracks - mostly around 3-4 minutes, with less of the Jazz improvisation and solos we had on the previous two albums. Now, Saxes and Trumpet are relegated to more of a supporting role as horn section, rather than featured soloists, as they were on tracks like "Work Song".

Gregory Porter has been taken up by radio stations like Jazz FM and this material is more radio-friendly, with the vocals clearly to the fore. Of course, he has such an amazing voice that this is all justified - but what made him stand out from the crowd before, was the Jazz musicianship and sophistication.

This is still evident to some extent and Chip Crawford, as main collaborator and pianist is excellent throughout - whether as accompanist or soloist. His playing on the Jazz standard "I Fall in Love too Easily" is the real thing - a wonderful slow ballad that at nearly 8 minutes, stands out as the exception here and an authentic Jazz performance, that would grace any New York Jazz club or classic album.

"Movin'" also has some of the authentic Jazz of previous albums and "Liquid Spirit" is probably the most exciting track with its syncopated Double Bass line driving the band. But most other tracks are kept short with the voice dominating and there is no shortage of tracks that could be played on the radio. In fact this could be easier listening for anybody new to Gregory Porter, than the two previous albums.

The material is again mostly original compositions, with a couple of Jazz standards and the old favourite : "The In Crowd" which has been covered by many people, but here receives a suitably Jazzy treatment. Musicianship is excellent throughout, but I would like to have heard more improvisation and real Jazz - more of a live gig feel. The whole album is cohesive - but the longer tracks have been left to the end - hopefully people will get to these, as for me, this is the most impressive part of the album.

While the whole may not have the impact of the previous two albums, it's still a huge pleasure to have new material from Gregory Porter and further chances to hear that wonderful voice.
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on 10 March 2014
I would recommend this c.d. to anyone who loves soul, great voice and great material, have it in my car and on all the time
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