In 2010, when Motéma Music was still a fledgling label, albeit one with an already impressive roster that included such lauded artists as Lynne Arriale, Rufus Reid and Marc Cary, President Jana Herzen signed a relatively unknown vocalist by the name of Gregory Porter. At the time, the Brooklyn-based vocalist was already developing quite a buzz, incited by his weekly SRO residency at St. Nick’s Pub in Harlem. Porter’s debut CD, Water, served as the launching pad for a career whose trajectory now seems unstoppable. Water earned Motéma and Porter their first Grammy nomination, for Best Jazz Vocal Album, garnered accolades from across the globe, and introduced him as one of the most important new voices in jazz and soul to emerge in the 21st century.
The success of Water was surpassed by Porter’s impressive 2012 sophomore release, Be Good, which served to further illustrate the breadth and depth of his prodigious talent, both as a singer and as a songwriter. Be Good earned Porter his second Grammy nomination for Best Traditional R&B Performance, and racked up an even more resounding array of international critical acclaim.
In response to the ongoing demand from Porter’s fans base - which spans listeners of jazz, R&B, soul and dance - Motéma Music will release both Water and Be Good as double gatefold LPs on 180 gram vinyl on November 26. The vinyl releases come on the heels of Porter’s major label debut, which has resulted in appearances on such mainstream media outlets as NPR’s All Things Considered, The Tonight Show, and PBS’ Tavis Smiley show.
The vinyl version of Water also includes the Opolopo remix of Porter’s anthemic “1960 What?,” which has given the song international cult hit status on dance floors across the globe.
The release of Water and Be Good on 180 gram vinyl coincides with Motema’s foray into the audiophile market, with most of the label’s catalog becoming available at HD Tracks over the next several months.