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  • Dee Dee's Feathers Dee Dee's Feathers Quick View

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    Dee Dee's Feathers

    Vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater's 2015 effort, Dee Dee's Feathers, is a vibrant jazz showcase that pays homage to the history of New Orleans and marks the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. A collaboration between Bridgewater, New Orleans trumpeter Irvin Mayfield, and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO), the album finds Bridgewater combining her love of New Orleans' musical past with the Crescent City's vibrant present.


    Recorded at Esplanade Studios, a historic 1920s church turned music studio in heart of the Treme neighborhood in New Orleans, Dee Dee's Feathers has a lush, organic sound. Bridgewater is backed here by Mayfield and his band, featuring guitarist/banjo player Don Vappie, drummer Adonis Rose, pianist Victor Atkins, and bassist Khari Allen Lee. Also featured on the album are several guests, including such New Orleans icons as keyboardist Dr. John and percussionist Bill Summers.


    These are warm, largely acoustic arrangements that breathe with the energy of a live performance. Cuts like the second-line, Mardi Gras-themed Big Chief, and the similarly percussion-heavy title track sound pleasingly like in-studio jams. In contrast, standards like the romantic What a Wonderful World and the languid Come Sunday, are lush, symphonic big-band productions that juxtapose Bridgewater's crackling, resonant voice against shimmering string and horn sections.


    Throughout all of Dee Dee's Feathers is Mayfield's burnished, puckered trumpet, adding a soulful counterpoint to Bridgewater's urbane vocals. Bridgewater has built a career out of combining her love of the tradition with her desire to push the boundaries of jazz style, and Dee Dee's Feathers is no exception.

    1. One Fine Thing
    2. What a Wonderful World
    3. Big Chief
    4. Saint James Infirmary
    5. Dee Dee's Feathers
    6. New Orleans
    7. Treme Song / Do Whatcha Wanna
    8. Come Sunday
    9. Congo Square
    10. C'est ici que je t'aime
    11. Do You Know What it Means
    12. Whoopin' Blues
    Dee Dee Bridgewater
    $24.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Liquid Spirit Liquid Spirit Quick View

    $24.99
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    Liquid Spirit

    Liquid Spirit is the remarkable major label debut from GRAMMY-nominated jazz and soul singer Gregory Porter. The 14-track album is further justification for Porter's quick ascent into the top ranks of jazz and R&B singers today, and it also features 10 new originals which showcase Porter's innate gift for writing poignant songs based upon personal experiences with a relatable and emotional immediacy. Also included is a stirring rendition of the jazz standard "I Fall In Love Too Easily," as well as covers of Abbey Lincoln's "Lonesome Lover" and Ramsey Lewis' hit "The 'In' Crowd."


    "I firmly consider myself a jazz singer but I enjoy blues, southern soul, and gospel," says Porter. "Those elements make their way inside my music. And I've always heard them in jazz." Indeed, Porter wields one of the most captivating baritone voices in music today. It emits enormous soul that conveys both the emotions and intellect of any given song without relying on vocal histrionics. In The New York Times, Nate Chinen wrote: "Gregory Porter has most of what you want in a male jazz singer, and maybe a thing or two you didn't know you wanted." Jazz singer Dee Dee Bridgewater praised Porter in the pages of JazzTimes by saying, "We haven't had a male singer like him in a long time. He's such a wonderful writer. He's a story teller."


    On Liquid Spirit, Porter retains the same core musicians that accompanied him on his previous two albums - pianist and music director, Chip Crawford, drummer Emanuel Harrold, bassist Aaron James, alto saxophonist Yosuke Sato, and tenor saxophonist Tivon Pennicott. On a few selections, Porter complements that ensemble with trumpeter Curtis Taylor, and organist Glenn Patscha. Producer Brian Bacchus also returns, as well as arranger and associate producer Kamau Kenyatta.


    Porter sees Liquid Spirit as a logical progression in his burgeoning discography as it touches on some of the same themes, particularly the highs and lows of romance, his childhood, and socio-political observations. More pointedly, he views the title-track, a rousing, hand-clapping gospel-jazz romp, dealing with replenishing "thirsty" listeners with more substantial music, as the flipside to last year's "Bling Bling," a blistering song on his previous album Be Good on which the protagonist had so many artistic gifts to give but no one to give them to. Similar sentiments occur on "Musical Genocide," on which Crawford hammers a dark rhythmic figure against James' bluesy bass accompaniment as Porter declares his refusal of accepting the insistent squashing of quality, diverse music and culture by a mainstream in favor of disposable, homogenized pap.


    In part, these songs are based upon Porter's reflections on new fans, worldwide, who come to him saying, "Where have you been?" or "How come I've never heard you before." "Not saying that I am 'what is,' Porter says, "But I think maybe what I'm doing is what people actually want to hear. There are some people who want that liquid spirit - a soulful, thoughtful sound - and they haven't been getting it."

    1. No Love Dying
    2. Liquid Spirit
    3. Lonesome Lover
    4. Water Under Bridges
    5. Hey Laura
    6. Musical Genocide
    7. Wolfcry
    8. Free
    9. Brown Grass
    10. Wind Song
    11. The 'In' Crowd
    12. Movin'
    13. When Love Was King
    14. I Fall in Love Too Easily
    Gregory Porter
    $24.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
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