Greg Porée | Inventions

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Jazz: Gypsy Jazz Latin: Brazilian Jazz Moods: Type: Soundtrack
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Inventions

by Greg Porée

Scenic and cool Latin Jazz with Hip-Hop grooves.
Genre: Jazz: Gypsy Jazz
Release Date: 

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1. Bring It On
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4:43 $0.99
2. Anti Biotic
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4:17 $0.99
3. City Lights
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3:48 $0.99
4. Fernando
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5. A Medianoche
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6. In Time For Spring
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7. Genesee
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8. Evidence
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3:48 $0.99
9. It\'s All Good
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10. Traveler
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5:04 $0.99
11. Bach Minuet au Porée
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12. Fresh Air
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
"'Invention', according to the 'New Harvard Dictionary of Music', is defined as "an original product of the imagination". Jazz is described as "an expanding collection of 20th century styles" where "improvisation is essential". My new CD Inventions embraces exactly these concepts.

My music has always drawn from different genres and composing is my passion. But in the realm of these twelve tunes it was a joy to also write for a variety of instruments and performers. This group of incredibly gifted performers covers a wide range - not only musically and stylistically but also in terms of age, race and gender."

Greg Porée, October 2008.

To be even more precise “in terms of age, race and gender”: This scenic and cool jazz album features exactly twenty-one highly acclaimed musicians – three women, one British-German and two African-American; one Jamaican, one Cuban, one Hispanic, two Italian-American, one Arab-American, six American and six African American – ranging from Ebony to Ivory and covering every age group from 26 to 62.

After a two year period of writing, rewriting, arranging and producing, Greg’s third solo album was finally completed! The CD 'Inventions' was released on October 1, 2008. It was recorded in Pasadena and Los Angeles and produced by the artist himself, Greg Porée and artist and writer, Frances Livings.


* * *

Greg Porée - Having grown up in a multi-cultural environment, Greg Porée has always been deeply influenced by the exposure to diverse styles of music, ranging from Bach to Beatles, and from Villa-Lobos to Motown. Greg has been fortunate enough to build his career in Los Angeles around music. His instrument is the guitar and currently, his “day job” is being the lead guitarist on the BBC hit show ‘Dancing with the Stars’.
Apart from always having been musically active in film and television he has worked as a guitarist, musical director, arranger and producer with the most talented musicians, ranging from Ray Charles and Herbie Hancock to Sting and Phoebe Snow. You can hear him on landmark albums from Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Stanely Turrentine, Ahmad Jamal, Benny Golson and James Blunt.

His third solo album 'Inventions' features world-renowned jazz artists like Patrice Rushen, Karen Briggs, Bryan Pezzone and Keith Jones.


Reviews


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Jeremia

Great melodies and incredible players!!!!
If you are looking for more than just same ol' same ol' jazz, you will love this album! It begins softly and almost slightly experimental but then offers world-jazz grooves and a range of incredible players. The melodies are infectious - a bit of Piazzola mixed with Pat Metheny - but never get mushed to smooth jazz pulp. My favourite tunes are "Evidence", which flows along with a lovely melody and "Traveler". But I must say, the very last tune "Bach Minuet" is more than exquisite! Even if you don't connect with classical music this last piece will touch you.

Alex Henderson

Inventions is crossover jazz with a brain
As a veteran guitarist who has appeared on countless R&B albums since the late 1960s, and some pop and rock albums as well along the way, Greg Porée has a very long résumé as a session player. But Porée’s own album, Inventions, contains something that people who are familiar with his R&B background may not expect from him: instrumental jazz. Granted, Inventions is not straight-ahead acoustic jazz, nor is it hard bop, cool jazz, swing, Dixieland or post-bop. This is a crossover album that combines jazz with elements of pop and R&B as well as world music. At the same time, Inventions has too much substance, too much improvisation and too much spontaneity to be lumped in with all the mind-numbing “elevator muzak” that so-called “smooth jazz” or NAC (new adult contemporary) stations are known for playing. While Porée is going for accessibility, he isn’t offering fluff or pandering to the lowest common denominator. Inventions is crossover jazz with a brain.

One thing that speaks volumes about this mostly instrumental album is the fact that electric keyboardist Patrice Rushen, who Porée features on some of the tracks, has plenty of room to stretch out and solo. In the R&B world, Rushen is best known for vocal hits such as 1982’s “Forget-Me-Nots,” 1980’s “Never Gonna Give You Up,” and 1979’s “Haven’t You Heard.” But Rushen was a jazz instrumentalist before she became an R&B singer, and her presence is a definite plus on Porée instrumentals that include the Brazilian-flavored “Evidence” (not to be confused with the Thelonious Monk standard), the ethereal “Traveler” and the Latin-tinged, gently funky opener “Bring It On.” Another noteworthy soloist on Inventions is violinist Paul Cartwright, whose solos show an awareness of jazz violinists ranging from gypsy jazz icon and Django Reinhardt ally Stéphane Grappelli to fusionist Jean-Luc Ponty. But Porée, of course, is the main soloist, and his guitar playing is quite lyrical and melodic throughout Inventions, and never saccharine or mushy.

The world music influence is prominent on Inventions. “Fernando” has a strong Afro-Cuban/salsa flavor, while “A Medianoche” (which means “At Midnight” in Spanish) is clearly mindful of Argentinean tango. Some of “A Medianoche’s” tango appeal comes from accordion player Nick Ariondo, who plays the instrument in a bandoneón-like fashion (the bandoneón, which sounds a lot like an accordion, has played a prominent role in tango and is associated with tango masters like Aníbal Troilo and Astor Piazzolla). And Ariondo is also featured on the equally tango-ish “Genesee.” Meanwhile, the smoky “In Time for Spring,” which features singer Frances Livings, manages to draw on tango and Brazilian music simultaneously.

With Inventions, Porée has an album that will be too crossover and too pop-minded for jazz purists and bop snobs but too improvisatory for NAC or “smooth jazz” radio stations. Does that present problems for the guitarist from a marketing standpoint? Not necessarily. There are many jazz listeners out there who don’t care for Kenny G or Richard Elliott at all but aren’t so purist or doctrinaire in their thinking that they can’t appreciate Joe Sample, Lonnie Liston Smith, David Sanborn, the Crusaders or the late Grover Washington, Jr. Typically, listeners who fit that description will cite Sample’s Carmel, Smith’s Loveland and Washington’s Winelight as examples of crossover jazz albums that have integrity, and there is no reason why someone who owns a copy of Carmel or Winelight wouldn’t be able to get into this album as well. The crossover-with-integrity outlook yields memorable results on Inventions.

gr

Inventions
Another wonderful album

Scott Yanow

Highly recommended to those who love melodic original jazz music
Inventions is Greg Porée's musical vision. He contributed all 12 pieces and his guitar playing is always a factor, whether as as a solo voice or as an accompanist. Of his originals, several deserve to become standards. The emphasis is on strong melodies and melodic development, all of it performed with infectious rhythms, soulful phrasing and a strong musical purpose.
A superior musician whose work on acoustic guitar is distinctive, versatile and inventive, Greg Porée shows throughout Inventions why he is so highly respected by his fellow musicians. The music reflects his wide interests, mixing together jazz improvisation with the flavor of cultures from several countries, including Cuba, Argentina, Spain or France. Along the way, he plays a bit of funk, the blues “City Lights” and an adaptation of a classical piece by Johann Sebastian Bach that is called “Bach Minuet au Porée.” No matter what the instrumental setting or genre, the soulful music always grooves while offering plenty of subtle surprises.
Porée is particularly generous in featuring his sidemen. Violinist Miguel Atwood- Ferguson is showcased on the opening “Bring it On,” Paul Cartwright takes several notable violin solos throughout the set, singer Frances Livings is a major asset on two songs, and other key musicians include Nick Ariondo on accordion, keyboardist Patrice Rushen, and saxophonists Zane Musa and Robert Kyle.
A set that is beyond simple classification, Greg Porée's Inventions is a memorable effort that is highly recommended to those who love melodic original music.

Scott Yanow, author of ten books including “The Jazz Singers”, “Bebop”, “Jazz On Film and Jazz On Record 1917-76”