With a warm, supple baritone voice and agile songwriting that's both poetic and emotionally direct, Gregory Porter is hailed as a significant new jazz artist who at age 42 is just hitting his stride. After two previous Grammy nominations, Porter took home this year's best jazz vocal album award for Liquid Spirit, his third release and first for Blue Note. While Porter is definitely a jazz singer — his powerful pipes resplendent with breathtaking tonal colors and nuanced phrasing — gospel, soul, R&B, and transcendent pop from the likes of Nat King Cole and Bill Withers permeate his music. Liquid Spirit features savvy covers of Ramsey Lewis's "The In Crowd," Abbey Lincoln/Max Roach's "Lonesome Lover," and the standard "I Fall in Love Too Easily." But the true revelations are Porter's philosophical original takes on love, loss, renewal, and artistic integrity, many sounding like instant classics.
Sun., Feb. 16, 7 p.m., 2014