Great Voices Of Harlem

Harlem is a mythical city, the birthplace many African-American hopes and dreams, a cultural melting pot, and a place that inspires imagination from the “Cotton Club” to the “Apollo Theatre” up to Sugarhill. This neighborhood is located in Upper Manhattan. Names like Jay-Z, James Brown or Billie Holiday will instantly come to mind. Harlem isn’t just a place that has been forgotten, but a cultural hub for the future. Gregory Porter is one of the most prominent and well-known artists who rose to international fame in Harlem’s bars and clubs in recent years. He is a Grammy-winning gentleman who is a giant in stature and voice, as well as his soul. His first record deal was signed with Motema Records, a Harlem-based label. An Austrian farmer and trombone-player was one of the first to recognize Porter’s incredible talent nearly ten years ago. Paul Zauner is his name. When he’s not working on his farm raising pigs or organizing the INNtone festival, he goes to Harlem (now in its 25th year). To be part of the vibrant spirit of music that this iconic place still lives and breathes. Zauner is a charming enthusiast who does not freeze in admiration but acts on his inspired impulses. For years, he has invited the musicians he met during his trips to Harlem, to perform with him and Blue Brass in Europe. This intercontinental family affair resulted in this CD, which was recorded in Austria and mastered by New York. It is a beautiful and quite legendary album that brings together Paul Zauner and three extraordinary gentlemen who are truly worthy of the title “Great Voices of Harlem”. This is how one of their stories, written by Michael Jackson (no relation), reads: “While Porter was born in 1971 and empathizes Harlem’s past, Mansur Scott, his fellow singer, lived it – right from the beginning. Scott was raised just blocks from Minton’s Playhouse where bebop began. He hit the streets when he was 15, hanging tough alongside Ray Draper, Charles Mingus, and Lee Morgan. (…) Scott was a strong authority figure from the beginning. Scott was a frequent user of heroin on the jazz scene. In fact, Scott’s estranged mom smoked with Lady Day. Scott’s tales from his time in the jail slammer, and other detention camps reveal that he was rebellious. His autobiographical “Doing Hard Time” describes his journey to North Carolina and the soul food that he ate on his way. However, Donald Smith is perhaps best known for his groundbreaking recordings with Lonnie Liston Smith. Donald Smith, a brilliant pianist and one of the best falsettos in the world, reimagines his brother’s greatest hit “Expansions” with a beautiful and inspiring rendition. The three greats, who hail from different generations and backgrounds, sing classics such as “Watermelon Man”, “Moanin'”, and “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”, and Horace Silver’s “Peace” u0026 “Song For My Father” with their soulful hearts. They have a unique spirit that speaks volumes about their roots and the future. They might even inspire a new Harlem Renaissance – it is certainly worth revitalizing. This album can also be a documentary in a series concerts and additional recordings. The GREAT VOICES of Harlem continue to play, rehearse and record the diverse elder-statesmen and true Harlem jazz along with the younger generation jazz vocalists that the world needs to hear. …! Watch out for the next Gregory Porter. from

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