AMERICAN jazz singer and songwriter Gregory Porter will release his new album, All Rise, on August 28 on Decca Records/Blue Note Records.
Porter’s last studio album, 2017’s Nat King Cole & Me, was a dedication to his life-long idol, built around cover versions.
All Rise marks a return to the two-time Grammy Award winner’s original song-writing template: his heart-on-sleeve lyrics imbued with everyday philosophy and real-life detail, set to a stirring mix of jazz, soul, blues, gospel, and pop.
“You could say that I went big,” says Porter, 48, of a record produced by Troy Miller that combines the talents of his long-time bandmates, a hand-picked horn section, a ten-strong choir and the London Symphony Orchestra Strings.
“But, quite frankly, the way I write in my head, it all happens with just voice and piano first, and it’s built up from there. It feels good to get back to the rhythms and the styles and the feelings and the way that I like to lay down my own music from start to finish.”
Sacramento-born Porter has just released his latest single, the suitably soaring Phoenix. “The song is about the undying, irrepressible spirit of love,” he says. “Love can fall, can suffer some great blow, but it can rise from the ashes and keep going.”
Phoenix follows the gospel-infused lead single Revival, the ballad If Love Is Overrated and Gregory’s dedication to his fans, friends and family, Thank You.
As he worked out the album’s direction, he looked inward, upward, and around him, arriving at a raison d’être found in the title, All Rise. “We hear that phrase when presidents or judges come into the room, but I’m thinking ‘all of us rise’, not just one person being exalted,” says Porter, who played York Barbican in October 2014 and Leeds First Direct Arena in April 2018.
“We are all exalted and lifted up by love. This is my political thought and my real truth. It comes from my personality, my mother’s personality, the personality of the blues and of black people. It’s this idea of making do with the scraps, of resurrection and ascension, and of whatever the current situation is, it can get better through love.”
Did you know?
GREGORY Porter won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album for Liquid Spirit in 2014 and Take Me To The Alley in 2017.