Liquid Spirit

Liquid Spirit

Liquid Spirit is the 2013 Blue Note debut from singer-songwriter Gregory Porter, who came to the historic label after two definitive outings for the jazz indie Motéma. The album successfully harnesses Porter’s strengths, giving him the space to expand on what was already a unique and acclaimed sound. In a way reminiscent of Nina Simone, Porter connects to a wide-ranging audience with his effortless blend of modern jazz and acoustic soul. Everything rests on his voice, which is unerring in pitch, at once laidback and punchy, improvisational but precise. Pianist Chip Crawford and the band are impeccable, endlessly versatile, putting a glow on every song, from the ring-shoutlike title track to the pop-folk loveliness of “Wind Song.” Porter’s singing is superb on the ballads “When Love Was King” and “Wolfcry,” and his way with an old and prescient soul-jazz hit like “The ‘In’ Crowd” (made famous by Ramsey Lewis) is irresistible.

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