Gregory Porter’s interpretation of Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne,” one of the most hallowed compositions in the late master’s songbook, is now available to stream and download as the latest single from Here It Is: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen.
The all-star album, which follows on October 14, is produced by Larry Klein and features a remarkable array of artists reworking Cohen’s profound songs. The track follows the recent appearance of three previous previews of the album, James Taylor’s “Coming Back To You,” “Famous Blue Raincoat” by Nathaniel Rateliff, and “Steer Your Way” by Norah Jones. The album will be available on D2C exclusive color vinyl, black vinyl, CD, and on digital download.
“It was truly an honor to sing the words and melody of a master craftsman of song,” says Porter. “I’ve long admired his wit, wisdom and courage that’s all in the music.” Other contributions on Here It Is include those by Peter Gabriel, Sarah McLachlan, Luciana Souza, Iggy Pop, Mavis Staples, and David Gray. Accompanying each of them is an exceptional band featuring saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins, guitarist Bill Frisell, pianist Kevin Hays, bassist Scott Colley, and drummer Nate Smith. There are additional contributions by Greg Leisz on pedal steel guitar and Larry Goldings on organ.
The dozen tracks on the album are drawn from many different periods of Cohen’s esteemed catalog, from his 1967 debut Songs of Leonard Cohen all the way up to selections from his final album, You Want It Darker, which came out a matter of days before his death in 2016. It addresses beloved classics and less familiar deep cuts, all given new life via thoughtful,m unexpected arrangements and performances.
Here It Is carries strong echoes of the concept behind Klein’s production of Herbie Hancock’s 2007 album River: The Joni Letters, made in tribute to Joni Mitchell. Not only did it win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year, but one of its featured artists was Cohen.
The full tracklist is:
1. Steer Your Way – Norah Jones
2. Here It Is – Peter Gabriel
3. Suzanne – Gregory Porter
4. Hallelujah – Sarah McLachlan
5. Avalanche – Immanuel Wilkins
6. Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye – Luciana Souza
7. Coming Back To You – James Taylor
8. You Want It Darker – Iggy Pop
9. If It Be Your Will – Mavis Staples
10. Seems So Long Ago, Nancy – David Gray
11. Famous Blue Raincoat – Nathaniel Rateliff
12. Bird On The Wire – Bill Frisell