Wednesday, March 28, 2018

"Porter Plays Porter" Randy Porter- piano & Nancy King, vocals

  • Ponder this for a moment: When was the last time a Portland, Oregon jazz artist was nominated for a Grammy Award? Not as long ago as you might think; Esmeralda Spalding and Thara Memory together won a Grammy in 2013, and Spalding won her first one in 2011. You might also recall that Nancy King and pianist Fred Hersch were nominated in 2006. And now Nancy's at it again as a guest on Randy Porter's Grammy nominated "Porter Plays Porter". Cole, that is. Congrats to the two of them on this well deserved honor. It's all the more amazing given the fact that this is a straight ahead jazz effort in an era dominated by original material, and rather meandering, somewhat formless music. Randy has, of course, been a "do everything" piano fixture for years in Portland. And Nancy just keeps on rollin', sounding as great as she did forty some years ago as a kid singer with the Tom Albering trio! On the nine cuts heard here, eight are by the great composer-lyricist Cole Porter. Nancy sings on five of those AND on Randy's own stirring ballad "Inside Your Mind" The other vocals, all Cole's creations, include "I Concentrate On You", "Just One Of Those Things", "All Of You", "Night And Day", and "Every Time We Say Goodbye". Randy's trio includes John Wiitala on bass, and Todd Strait, drums. This superb, balanced threesome is heard on "I Love You", "Why Can't You Behave", and "Get Out Of Town". Hats off to all four of them on this rich and real Cole Porter tribute. And kudos to the Grammy people for getting it right. Heavywood Music; 2017; times not indicated.

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