Tennerz: Gregory Porter – 1960 What? (Opolopo Kick & Bass Rerub) (Expansion Records)
What a masterpiece we have here! Lyrically speaking… As sounding like a flashback into the darkest hours that got the Afro-American community to fight for their Civil Rights. Therefore bringin us us back to the souvenir of artists such as Curtis Mayfield and Marvin Gaye. And, of course musically, with an awesome production.
‘1960 What?’ initially appeared as a part of Gregory Porter’s 2011 debut-album – ‘Water’ – on Indie label Motéma. But it would have to wait until the year after to get some extra resonance. And most likely with its overwhelming reconstruction by the likes of Opolopo on Expansion Records.
‘1960 What?’ has definitely done a lot for the recognition of both Porter and the latter. Which doesn’t come as a surprise…
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– Sacramento, CA native Gregory Porter was initially destined to have a career in football. A 1989 graduate of Highland High School, he received a full-ride athletic scholarship as a football lineman to San Diego State University (SDSU Aztecs). Alas, a shoulder injury during his junior year of high school put a definitive end to his projects.
Gifted with a silky baritone voice, he made his first foray into music along with the Teflon Dons. This, on a rare track – ‘Tomorrow People’ – which appeared as a part of a WMC Sampler back in 1998.
Movin’ to Brooklyn 6 years after, he worked as a chef at Lloyd’s restaurant Bread-Stuy where he also eventually performed.
Porter eventually released 2 albums on Indie label Motéma, with his first one – ‘Water’ – featuring the memorable ‘1960 What?’ with Kafele Bandele on Trumpet. A track which UK label Expansion brought to international recognition with remixing work courtesy of Opolopo in 2012.
Signing with Blue Note the year after, Porter most likely confirmed with ‘Liquid Spirit’. His third opus winning the 2014 Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album, with production work by the likes of Brian Bacchus. Claptone remixing its title cut in 2015.
He eventually collaborated that same year with Disclosure on ‘Holding On’. A track which opened his last studio album – ‘Take Me To The Alley’ – back in May 2016, featuring guests such as Kem and Lalah Hathaway…
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