The Daily Express recently published a handy list: “The jazz cat in THAT hat: 10 facts about Gregory Porter.”
Gregory Porter’s star has risen remarkably in the last four years since we delighted in his debut album ‘Water’ here at Jazz FM. Since then he’s gone on to major international recognition with a Grammy award for album number three ‘Liquid Spirit’ and appearances at countless major jazz festivals including both Love Supremes. Porter has also been one of a very small number of jazz musicians making national television appearances including Later With Jools Holland, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Strictly Come Dancing with Jamie Cullum.
These days you’re almost as likely to see the British national press writing about Gregory as you are about Beyoncé. So what do you know about Mr. Porter? The Express recently published a handy list of ten facts about him: “The jazz cat in THAT hat: 10 facts about Gregory Porter.”
Of course, it includes the first thing you’ll always hear about Gregory, the influence of Nat King Cole. “I became obsessed with Nat King Cole. I was using his music and his style, and even the images from his records, to satiate me in some way, in some absence that I had, in terms of a father figure,” he says.
But what of that famous cap and neoprene hood? "I’ve had some surgery on my skin, so this has been my look for a little while and will continue to be for awhile longer. People recognise me by it now. It is what it is.”
The Express also notes his cooking ability. Porter points out, “I love cooking, and I love having friends over. I think of music in the same way I think about food, in the serving aspect – you put a plate of food in front of a friend and it feels good, they’re nourished. I think about music like that and the things that I’m good at are these nourishing things – music, food.”
Other facts about Gregory Porter:
- He ended a promising career as American Football player due to injury.
- In the early days he used to visit Jazz FM to send emails, faxes and other admin and latterly is not averse to a swift one with the staff at the Green Man in Fitzrovia.
- He worked with Eloise Laws, sister of jazz-funk legend Ronnie, on musical stage shows before recording his first album.
- In 1999 he sang on a deep house record by producers The Teflon Dons called ‘Tomorrow People’.
- Right up to becoming a fully fledged recording artist Gregory was a professional chef in Brooklyn. His speciality is soup and ladies in the neighbourhood still call out to him and ask when he plans to make some more of his famous Turkey Chilli soup!
Teflon Dons - Tomorrow People (featuring Gregory Porter)