Review from LA JazzScene
Randy Porter Plays Cole Porter (Heavywood Music)
Veteran pianist Randy Porter is a fine modern straight ahead pianist who in his career has worked with Freddie Hubbard, Benny Golson, Charles McPherson, the New York Voices, Rebecca Kilgore and David Friesen among others. On his tribute album to Cole Porter, he teams up with bassist John Wiitala, drummer Todd Strait and, on six of the nine selections, the great singer Nancy King.
The set features eight Cole Porter songs plus the pianist’s ballad “Inside Your Mind.” Nancy King brings her own warmth and individual phrasing to such songs as “I Concentrate On You,” “Just One Of Those Things” and “All Of You,” sounding very much in her musical prime. Porter takes “I Love You,” “Why Can’t You Behave” and “Get Out Of Town” as instrumentals. His solos are swinging, boppish and full of subtle creativity while keeping the melodies in mind. Wiitala and Strait are excellent in support of the lead voices.
Further analysis is not needed. Randy Porter’s Plays Cole Porter, which is available from www.randyporter.com , is a high-quality set of creative jazz that is easy to enjoy.
Photo by Ben Bright
Photo by Ben Bright
Photo by Rosaura Sandoval
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PORTER PLAYS PORTER WITH NANCY KING
Randy!!! Your CD is glorious..really beautiful. Nancy King sounds like a bad ass Queen. Your arrangements and playing are gorgeous and your band is swinging deep too.
— Kate McGarry
Hey Randy!!!! That album is GORGEOUS!!! And your playing and arranging are SUBLIME! … Tell Nancy she’s a Goddess!
(Porter) delivers the goods. His modern interpretations of eight Porter classics (plus one worthy Randy Porter original) are dazzlingly accomplished.
– Allen Morrison, Downbeat 1/2018 Review of Porter Plays Porter with Nancy King
“…Randy Porter, an exceptional pianist whose grace and grit should win him many new friends. Listen!”
– Dr Chuck Berg
“…Randy Porter, the brilliant, svelte improviser.“
– Paul de Barros, Seattle Times, review of “Some Other Time”
“…possessed of a fabulous technical command of his instrument, which in his case manifests itself not so much in rapid and glitzy runs as in subtler pianistic virtues: gorgeous touch, remarkable independence of left and right hands, and seemingly effortless execution of his harmonically rich musical outpourings.”
– Glen Good
“Randy has built a reputation as a musician’s musician, a knowledgeable, inventive, and sophisticated player with a remarkable sense of time and gorgeous keyboard facility…”
– Lynn Darroch
“I’m impressed with Randy’s great confidence, a confidence that allows the music to breathe deeply.”
– Chuck Berg
“The phrase that hooked me comes at the hands of pianist Randy Porter… As a soloist, Porter is soulful and intelligent.”
– Jason West
“…Porter has a wide-ranging jazz piano approach and seems able to handle any sort of groove…”
– John Henry
“From exuberance to melancholy, Friesen, Porter and Jones have musically portrayed the whole emotional range associated with that special kind of affection; sensitively, artistically and elegantly. If love can be heard, it sounds like this.”
– Review of “Name of a Woman” on Intuition
“…Randy Porter makes his case for that small circle of great West Coast pianists…”
– George Fendel
MADELINE EASTMAN AND RANDY PORTER, A Quiet Thing (MadKat)
“Pianist Randy Porter is equally superb here (A Quiet Thing CD). He is the perfect complement and compliment to (Madeline) Eastman’s unique interpretations. His breadth of touch and dynamics mirror and enhance Eastman and never detract or distract. His harmonic range is pure Impressionistic palette. His is a consistently intelligent, cooperative approach in every manner. Porter’s accompaniment could be played alone and it would shine as a Equatorial sun.”
–Nicholas F. Mondello, All About Jazz, CD Reviews 3/8/2013
“…The contrast between the marching-band funk and the substance of Porter’s modern voicings, hip phrasing and stop-time comping sets up a pattern of tension and release that makes the track one of the most stimulating in the album. Porter’s imaginative harmonies and the sensitivity of his touch define the slow waltz ‘Eight Little Feet,’ which is dedicated to his children. ‘A Little Kindness’ and many of Porter’s other compositions, works from a nostalgic core while exploring audacious rhythmic and harmonic concepts. It highlights the fleetness of his right hand and features LaBarbera in a typically melodic solo.”