Monday, 11 November 2013

Gregory Porter - The Gijon Jazz Festival

Gregory Porter in the Jovellanos Theatre, Gijon 10/11/2013. Photo - LNE

Gregory Porter is one of those singers who could have been successful in any musical era of the last 50 or 60 years. One can imagine him as a great blues singer in the 40s, a jazz singer in the 50s or a soul star in the 70s. One hears echoes of Muddy Waters, Bill Withers, Marvin Gaye and even Nat King Cole in his rich baritone voice. He also has a mega talented band that don't just back him up but also launch off into areas of rapturous bebopified high speed jazz. Saxophonist Yosuke Sato is particularly outstanding (check out the solo around the 4.30 mark on Work Song below. Simply stunning).

The concert at the Gijon Jazz Festival on Saturday in no way disappointed. Any worries about the Jovellanos Theater being atmospherically cold and unsuitable (as per my comments on the Medeski Martin and Wood gig of the previous week) were put paid to pretty much by the second or third song into the set. This audience seemed more than ready and up for any required participatory activities and there was even a mass singalong when Porter surprisingly launched into Nat King Cole's "Quizas" in Spanish. The show built steadily to the intense blues holler / jazz bebopery of Work Song and by the encore Hey Laura, one can plainly hear an audience transported and a Gregory Porter triumphant.

We await his return.

Gregory Porter, vocals
Yosuke Sato, saxophone
Chip Crawford, piano
Aaron James, bass
Emanuel Harrold, drums

Work Song
Check out Yosuke Sato's jaw dropping solo from 4:30 on.

A Spanish favourite

Hey Laura
Delicious 70s soul

Gregory Porter

More on stranger than known
Medeski Martin and Wood - Gijon Jazz Festival

"Cool" - BBC Arena documentary

The Alambique - Jazz Finds a Home in Northern Spain

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