The much-loved jazz vocal stylist’s Deezer Black History Month Session EP includes a stripped-back, intimate version of “When Love Was King,” the song of his own composition that first featured on his hugely successful 2014 album Liquid Spirit.
That’s accompanied by an impassioned cover of Sam Cooke’s staging-post song that became such an anthem in the time of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, “A Change Is Gonna Come.” The original, written by Cooke, was released as the B-side of his single “Shake” in early 1964, the last year of his tragically short life. The much-covered “A Change Is Gonna Come” is preserved in the Library of Congress.
Porter’s current All Rise album is nominated for Best R&B Album at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards, which will now take place on March 21. It’s up against titles by Ant Clemons, Giveon, Luke James, and John Legend.
Hanging with Imelda May
Meanwhile the second series of the singer’s popular podcast The Hang is in full flow, with friend and labelmate Imelda May as the latest guest, on the new edition out today. “We talked for hours and almost forgot the podcast was being recorded, which is exactly how I want it to be,” he tweeted.
Previous guests in the second series have included Hozier, Elvis Costello, Rufus Wainwright, Nubya Garcia, Paloma Faith, Jacob Collier, Philip Bailey of Earth, Wind & Fire, the aforementioned John Legend, Gary Barlow, Brittany Howard, and Disclosure. Porter and Faith also collaborated recently on the festive track “Christmas Prayer.”
Other activity around the All Rise album included extensive airplay for the track “Mister Holland,” and Porter’s performance of it on Jimmy Kimmel Live in November.