“… (re) Generet-ion is the work of a singer that has lived enough to understand the true depth that many of the songs he sings carry. Instead of treating a song as a vehicle for self-expression, he uses his self as a vehicle
for the song. In other words, it is the story of the song that is most important. (It’s) an album that stands at the top of its class.”- Cathy Gruenfelder, Jazz Improv NY Magazine
“Mr. Generet’s programme actually took my breath away. His fitting sound is so unsullied it defines the art of ballad artistry. From “Angel Eyes” to Caravan” he is on the case in powerful yet softly laden versions of some wonderful songs. The stillness in his voice is ear shattering.”
- Dan Singer, InTune International, United Kingdom.
“Gregory is a welcomed new addition to the music scene. Not locked into any style of music, he is a true performer. Be it ballads or blues, (he) delivers and he swings too!”
-Sheila E. Anderson, WBGO-FM
“…(re)Generet-ion, a soothing set that takes you back to the heyday of legendary vocalists Johnny Hartman and Joe Williams. Through it all, Generet invigorates jazz standards and brings them alive for today’s diverse lifestyles.”
- Ebony magazine.
A recent appearance at Dizzy's Club, Jazz @ Lincoln Center:
THE NEW YORK AMSTERDAM NEWS May, 2009
Jazz Notes by Ron Scott
Gregory Generet in primetime
The pool of male jazz vocalists is very shallow, leaving the still waters open for an exciting new splash.
Gregory Generet, the tall, debonair, velvet-voiced baritone, made a big splash at his recent two sold-out sets at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola. The loud standing ovations made it clear a new jazz singer has been anointed. His repertoire on Monday evening, which is set aside at Dizzy’s for UPSTARTS! (young and upcoming talents), included songs from his debut CD, entitled “Gregory Generet: (re)generet-ion” (Monsieur Music Records). “Both our Monday and after hours shows give us an opportunity to work with younger and up-and-coming headliners of tomorrow,” stated Todd Barkan, programming director of Dizzy’s. While Generet can swing tempo tunes, he’s a die-hard romantic who usually takes his listening audience down a love path, conjuring up experiences of the heart. His selections are a string of well-traveled standards made famous by such notables as Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra, among others. It takes courage to follow such a path, considering the Brooklyn born native is only two years into his professional career as a singer. However, even at this fledgling stage, he has the uncanny ability to turn each memorable song into a “regeneret-ion,” drawing from his own experiences of life and love. Generet takes time to interpret the lyrics from his perspective, while his band plays the jazz. In this instance, his accomplished band members included pianist and musical director Onaje Allan Gumbs, saxophonist T.K. Blue, bassist Marcus McLaurine, guitarist Jair Coelho and drummer Payton Crossley. Although it was his first time performing with T.K. Blue, he was a perfect fit. The band members were a tight, intuitive group that made every lyrical note a joyful moment. On “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face,” Generet slowed the tempo from the original. Gumbs followed the singer like a melodic shadow, as Blue stepped in with improvisations, showing off dual glimpses of John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman, as they did “Stolen Moments” with a blues edge, allowing the entire band to walk in unison and step out with dynamite solos. As many times as “Angel Eyes” has been recorded, Generet’s baritone voice offered another view, as Gumbs took the bluesy lead. Generet swings on “How High the Moon,” with McLaurin’s deep bottom anchored by Crossley’s smooth brushwork. “Caravan,” one of the hottest songs of the evening, starts on a slow, distinct African beat with background vocals by Manu Narayan (who is seated in the audience as the song takes off). The band and vocals progressed into a crescendo that rocked the house.
“Johnny Hartman had a great impact on me and how to tell a story, and so did Shirley Horn,” said Generet. All these great singers told great stories. I try to tell my own story, not just the song that people have heard a thousand times.” Like Lou Rawls and Joe Williams, Generet can tell a story that swings or brings joyful tears, as his live performance and debut CD demonstrate. Although “(re) generetion” only has eight tracks, they are definitely worth multiple spins. He starts Van Morrison’s pop hit “Moondance” in a cappella that leads into a duo with guitarist Jair Coelho and builds to a passionate finale.With the help of Gumbs as pianist, producer and arranger, they were able to come up with something with more of a jazz flavor, rather than just an influence. This is a special song to Generet, who sang it to his wife, actress Tamara Tunie (a co-star on the TV series “Law and Order”), at their wedding reception. The CD also features saxophonists Roger Byam and Mark Gross, trumpeter Eddie Allen and percussionists Neil Clarke and Ayanda Clarke. T.K. Blue is the only member of the ensemble who didn’t appear on the recording. However, with such an outstanding performance at Dizzy’s, he is definitely on Generet’s radar. “It’s about taking a turn on a different path, and this music has helped to influence that path for me,” said Generet. His CD can be purchased online at CD Baby, iTunes and Amazon.com.
During these trying times, Generet delivers love songs for a new frontier.