- 21 Nov 17
Gregory Porter on paying tribute to Nat King Cole on his new LP, how it relates to the US’ current political situation, and working with Van Morrison. Interview: Peter McGoran
“It’s just that raw, beautiful authenticity – unaltered by technology. That’s what it is right there.”
Having just finished dinner at the Westbury Hotel, and with all of his 6 foot 3 inches looming over your Hot Press correspondent, Gregory Porter is trying to find the best way to answer the question of how Nat King Cole, and other artists from his era, became innovators in modern music. Fresh from recording Graham Norton the night before (where he stole the show by performing ‘Mona Lisa’ with none other than Jeff Goldblum on piano), Porter’s decision to spread the Gospel According to Nat came about for both personal and political reasons.
“People had been asking me for years, ‘When is this album coming?’” laughs Gregory. “Because everyone knew that this was inevitable. Nat King Cole is part of my understanding of music. My biggest influences in life were my mother, gospel music, and Nat King Cole. It’s in my DNA.” So the choice to do a covers album didn’t set off alarm bells for the record company?