Gregory Porter’s spirit-filled jazz (via Kentucky)

On the title song to his 2013 recording Liquid Spirit, which last year won the Grammy for best jazz vocal album , Gregory Porter compresses the remarkable distinction and diversity of his music into a 31/2-minute tent revival.

The lyrics address a sense of soulful need and eventual nourishment sung with churchy hipster reserve and punctuated with righteous hand claps. But the accompanying music, which, like the narrative, was penned by Porter, is all jazz flexibility peppered by Stax-style brass.

It’s a complete, sanctifying song with a message Porter has been spreading to global audiences. Throughout the 18 months since the album’s release, such gospel-soul smarts have elevated Porter to celebrity status within a jazz world where stardom often translates into commercial concession.

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