Gregory Porter announces new Nat King Cole tribute album and full UK tour

The Grammy-winning singer performs with an orchestra for the first time

Jazz superstar Gregory Porter has confirmed his new album will be a deeply personal tribute to Nat King Cole – the legendary crooner who ignited his love of music in the first place. “It’s only natural that I go to the root of my inspiration and where I come from. And that root would be my mother and gospel music and Nat King Cole,” he says, “At five or six years old, Nat’s music filled a void in me. My father wasn’t in my life and wasn’t showing interest in me or raising me and Nat’s words were the life lessons, words of wisdom and fatherly advice I needed.”

The new album marks the first time Gregory has recorded with a full orchestra (it was recorded at the UK’s AIR studios) and last night all 70 musicians were reunited with the Grammy-winning conductor and arranger Vince Mendoza at a special launch event in London. Gregory performed a handful of songs from his record in the beautiful surroundings of LSO St. Luke’s in front of 150 guests including Blue Note President Don Was.

Porter has also announced he will be embarking on a UK tour in April next year, including two nights at the Royal Albert Hall where he’ll be joined by an orchestra.

‘Nat King Cole & Me’, will be released on Decca/Blue Note on 27th October. It features 11 of his favourite tunes, plus a new arrangement of Gregory’s own song ‘When Love Was King’ which he says was inspired by Cole.

On Nat’s legacy and influence Gregory affirms, “He was one of a kind. He left such great music – such beautiful things to listen to that you can’t help but be influenced by that extraordinary timbre, style, and ultimate cool.”

Tracklisting:

1. Mona Lisa
2. Smile
3. Nature Boy
4. L-O-V-E
5. Quizas, Quizas, Quizas
6. Miss Otis Regrets
7. Pick Yourself Up
8. When Love Was King (new arrangement of an original Gregory Porter composition from ‘Liquid Spirit’)
9. The Lonely One
10. Ballerina
11. I Wonder Who My Daddy Is
12. The Christmas Song

2018 Tour dates:

5 April - Birmingham Symphony Hall
6 April - Birmingham Symphony Hall
7 April - Liverpool Empire Theatre
8 April - Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
10 April - Nottingham Royal Concert Hall
11 April - Cardiff St Davids Hall
12 April - Manchester Apollo
13 April - Leeds First Direct Arena
15 April - Sheffield City Hall
17 April - Bournemouth BIC
18 April - London Royal Albert Hall (with orchestra)
19 April - London Royal Albert hall (with orchestra)

 

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