ALL RISE (LTD BLUE 3LP)
coloured 3x12" Vinyl D
Gregory Porter’s sixth studio album “All Rise” marks a return to his beloved original songwriting. The limited blue triple vinyl with 2 bonus tracks is housed in a tri-fold sleeve.
We’d tell you Gregory Porter is back, but you probably already knew. You probably felt the earth rumbling, announcing the man’s bone-deep baritone, or you felt the air change as the warmth of his sound filled the atmosphere like a hug from above. That’s because ALL RISE, his sixth studio album, marks a return to Porter’s beloved original songwriting — heart-on-sleeve lyrics imbued with everyday philosophy and real-life detail, set to a stirring mix of jazz, soul, blues, and gospel. Produced by Troy Miller (Laura Mvula, Jamie Cullum, Emili Sandé), the set also represents the evolution of Porter’s art to something even more emphatic, emotive, intimate, and universal too. After 2017’s Nat King Cole & Me, Porter knew two things: one, he’d bring in an orchestra for his next LP (check), and, two, music is medicine. In the spirit of that latter revelation, ALL RISE brims with songs about irrepressible love, plus a little protest, because the road to healing is bumpy.
“Yes, you could say that I went big,” says Porter about his latest, which combines the talents of his longtime loyal bandmates, a handpicked horn section, a 10-member choir, and the London Symphony Orchestra Strings. “But, quite frankly, the way I write in my head, it all happens with just voice and piano first, and it’s built up from there. It feels good to get back to the rhythms and the styles and the feelings and the way that I like to lay down my own music from start to finish.”
While the strings were recorded at Abbey Road, the core of ALL RISE was made in two locations: in Los Angeles at the legendary Capitol Studios just a couple of hours from Porter’s Bakersfield home; and at a cozy studio in Paris’ Saint-Germain-des-Prés quarter, a historic hub for literature and jazz. The idea was that Porter would start his days exploring the Parisian streets and cafes, fill up on coffee and croissants, and then saunter in to record for a few hours. But the Grammy-stacking star — who’s dined with Stevie Wonder and sung for the Queen of England — remains blue-collar by blood. He had a job to do, so he led his band day and night through these songs, challenging the process every step. “Quite frankly, there was some frustration from the band, like, ‘This is the eighth different feel we’ve put on this song!’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, I know. Let’s continue with the ninth,'” Porter recalls with a chuckle that could disarm far worse conflicts. [info sheet from distr.]