Greg Porée at Zeidler’s Café inside the Skirball Cultural Center
by jazzcat [LeRoy Downs] on Sunday, September 12 2004, 10:00 PM
Although I arrived rather late, I still had enough time to hear some great music from guitarist Greg Porée. I have been hearing Greg’s name circulating in jazz circles for quite some time now so, I was already very excited to experience his performance.
It was a warm and sunny day and the courtyard at Zeidler’s Café, located inside the Skirball Cultural Center, which provides a lovely environment for food, music and cool blowing breezes. Not to mention the beautifully serenading sound of Greg Porée’s guitar. Just as calm, cool, mellow and laid back as he can be, Greg romances your spirit with wonderful chords and uplifting melodies that resemble colors of happiness.
The band features some great cats as well. Hopefully, you are all familiar with Mr. Robert Kyle. I caught him here today playing flute but, he is an extraordinary multitalented woodwind player. Bass player Keith Jones is from the island of Jamaica and very enriched with the sounds of the Caribbean. He brings that flavor along with a style that transcends from a groove to funk and back to all of the intricacies of jazz music. Pete Koppella on percussion is a new face to me but certainly a creative inspiration playing tambourine, congas and bongos.
They say that there is only six degrees of separation between all humans, many times I believe, less than that. As it turns out, Greg Porée and my father were the best of childhood friends. He knows my whole family and was friends with them near a house that I have never heard of. Obviously, I had not even inhabited the planet yet! So, as far as I am concerned, we are related. Well actually, in the larger scheme of things, as long as there is life, love, humanity and jazz music, “All Men Are Brothers” Girls too!
Sounding the Hills with Jazz. A-Frame Jazz
by Kim Vinson (contributor), November 1, 2007
A musical retreat awaits seekers on a Jazz Journey at the “Jazz at the A Frame” high in the Hills of Hollywood, CA. The rejuvenating getaway highlighted Greg Porée, a versatile and moving guitarist, Patrice Rushen – an incredibly innovative pianist, Paul Cartwright – jazz violinist, David Leach – percussionist, and Kenny Wild – bassist.
The musicans refreshed as well as set ablaze our spirits with splendid selections of Straight Ahead, mixed in Brazilian, then added acoustic flavors, brushed with the Blues and a classical piece turned on its revolutionary head with a jazz groove. “Bach Menuett au Porée”. The living room was filled with nodding approvers. The spirit and harmony between the musicans was one of complete unity as they communicated with their instruments, bodies, souls, and wooed the audience in the magic. One could not escape the feeling of elation, excitement, and oneness as we were basking in Jazz.
Our hearts beat rhtymically with the quintet on “Lullaby at Birdland” and “My Favorite Things”. We were serenaded on “Autumn Leaves”. But it was Greg’s lovely and convincing tribute to his wife that we fell head over heels in love “Phoenix Drive”. His beautiful arrangement could make anyone blush. Patrice Rushen’s passion and roared as well as lulled the entire audience to the brink of euphoria. Paul Cartwright, jazz violinist was nothing short of superb drawing ooohs, ahhhs, smiles, and loads of applause after each stunning solo. Where…did you find some of those chords??? David Leach, on percussion took us on a jazz excursion that left the planet with an embodiment of rhythm like no other. Whether accompanying or on his own solo, he continued to take you to a higher place. Kenny Wild’s bass soared along in perfect time and accented every song. He was nothing short of spectacular in his approach to standards and new pieces such as “Bring It On”, “Mind Set”, and “Fresh Air” by Greg Porée.
As a lover of guitar music, this album is a great find and I’m sure would be appreciated by guitarists and music lovers alike.
I have played guitar for almost 40 years, my ears are reasonably tuned up and I think Greg is up there with all the guitar greats, one difference being, Greg is a fraction more musical than many players who are household names amongst guitar enthusiasts. I love it”
Tony Hogan, guitar teacher and blogger