Tennerz: Gregory Porter – 1960 What? (Opolopo Kick & Bass Rerub) (Expansion Records)
What an incredible 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. Thus bringin us us back to the souvenir of artists such as Curtis Mayfield and Marvin Gaye. And, of course, musically, with an awesome production.
As a matter of fact, ‘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 at the end…
Download from Traxsource.
– 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 performed at times.
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 thanks to its remixing work courtesy of Opolopo back 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. This with production work by the likes of Brian Bacchus then Claptone remixing its title cut in 2015. Last but not least, he 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. This along with guests such as Kem and Lalah Hathaway…
– Lookin’ in the list of possible remixers for someone to give a contemporary (if not futuristic) feel to your music? Then chances are great you would find Opolopo on top of it along with others studio wizards such as Atjazz, Henrik Schwarz or Aki Bergen. This pretty much depending on the direction you want to give to your work, as a matter o fact.
Speakin’ of Hungary, Peter Major (Opolopo) hardly knows more than the fact it happened to be his native country. Her mom deciding to leave it during the communist period. This during a visit she made to his dad (himself a musician) who was touring in Sweden at the time. With the whole family changing nationality soon after.
Sweden being a country where Jazz has an undeniable meaning – with thanks to its prolific scene – no wonder how it got an echo on Opolopo‘s construction. As DJ, a remixer or an artist on his own rights.
Opolopo released his first album – ‘Omnifarious’ – back in 2003 on Australian label Collision Records. And he got commissioned to do his first remix two years later. This while retouching ‘Freeze The Cut’ for Comfort Fit feat. Blaktroniks on Japanese label Tokyo Dawn Records. From then, he has dropped 4 extra albums with his latest – ‘Superconductor’ – back in 2015 on Joey Negro‘s Z Records label. Meanwhile collaborating with luminaries such as Keni Burke (‘So Good’) and Paul Randolph (‘Sustain’). But also Taka Boom (‘Feels Good 2 Me’) and the late Diane Charlemagne (‘Round And Round’).
As a remixer, Opolopo made quite an impression with his rework of Mario Biondi & The High Five Quintet‘s ‘This Is What You Are’ back in 2007. But he most likely would get his breakthrough 5 years after with his Rerub’ of Gregory Porter‘s seminal ‘1960 What?’. This masterpiece bringin’ him on everyone’s lips lookin’ for the next sensation. Beginning with ours since we’ve relaunched IDMW back by the beginning of the Summer 2014. And most definitely standing among those we tend to champion the (re)works of.
His list of the likes is quite impressive with more than 100 quotes on Discogs to date and 350 on Traxsource. From Sandy Barber‘s ‘I Think I’ll Do Some Steppin’ (On My Own’) to Ferry Ultra feat. Gwen McCrae‘s ‘Let Me Do My Thang’. But also Deep Tenor City‘s ‘Oba’ and Jarrod Lawson‘s ‘Sleepwalkers’. Not to mention Los Charly’s Orchestra‘s ‘All Around The World’ and Lisa Stansfield‘s ‘Picket Fence’in 2015. Then what about The Jacksons‘ ‘Everybody’ which he’d retouched the year before? Or Omar feat. Caron Wheeler‘s ‘Treat You’ the year after???
Opolopo regularly updating his list since. This with Rhemi feat. Cassius‘ ‘Beat Within’. Then, more recently Rapson‘s ‘Heat’ and Kenny Thomas‘‘Your Love’ among others. Not to mention Kelvin Sylvester & Natasha Watts‘ ‘Fly Away’…
You might also like…
10 essential Jazz Funk classics…