About the album
With a sweeping collection of new music, acclaimed trumpeter/composer Charlie Porter gathers a dynamic group of forward-looking musicians to celebrate America's rich immigrant history. In a time when immigration policy has become a heart-wrenching polarizing topic, Porter felt compelled to reclaim the uniting power of the word 'immigrant' through art, knowing its healing capacity can be great when crafted with intention. This diverse cast presents twelve original compositions in two sets, 'Leaving Home' & 'New Beginnings.' The ensemble burns and soars while embracing many global influences that have found their way into the music, including elements from Porter's Lebanese/Greek/Italian heritage, all while fully living in the essence and language of jazz.
Personnel: Charlie Porter (trumpet, flugelhorn) Nick Biello (tenor saxophone) Oscar Perez (piano) David Wong (bass) Kenneth Salters (drums) Sabine Kabongo (vocals).
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What others are saying...
"a joyful but tempered expression of optimism...poignantly voiced...nuanced performance"
- JAZZIZ Magazine
"What is most striking about this record is that above and beyond an important and all inclusive social narrative, the music is honest and engaged fully with the embodiment of what jazz is musically. The narrative is expressed without the music being over-produced or obliged to that narrative. The multi-colored compositional content, and soulful playing by all participants magnifies two grand commonalities shared by the American people—that we are a nation of immigrants, and that jazz music is the means by which we most elegantly state our cultural identity."
- Paul Rauch, ALL ABOUT JAZZ
"Impressionistic with an almost symphonic sweep, this is an old school/modern set with real boots on the ground feel. A sterling merger of politics and music."
- Chris Spector, Midwest Record
- Jeff Krow, Audiophile Audition
About the album
This self-titled debut album features ten varied, original compositions, as well as a little-known gem by Duke Ellington, only ever recorded once, in 1940, prior to this recording.
With nine ensembles comprised of twenty-one of Portland's best jazz musicians, this album showcases Charlie's writing and playing within a diverse spectrum of sound, from solo to sextet. It begins with a solo trumpet track, and then builds from a duo up to sextet and then back down from quintet to solo trumpet, for the last track. The palindromic form of the album and the different instrumentation of each track help to conceptually unify the pieces, yet send the listener on a journey of musical diversity.
John Nastos, David Evans (saxophones) John Moak (trombone) Majid Khaliq (violin) George Colligan, David Goldblatt, Dan Gaynor, Greg Goebel (piano) Christopher Woitach (guitar) Chuck Israels, Jon "sticky" Lakey, Tim Gilson, Tom Wakeling, Dylan Sundstrom, Bill Athens, Cary Mija (bass) Mel Brown, Christopher Brown, Alan Jones, Tim Rap, Michael Raynor (drums).
Listen on Spotify
What others are saying...
"Technical wizardry patiently unfolding"
- DownBeat Magazine
"A testament to Porter's prodigious talent and imaginative creativity"
- All About Jazz
"It's different - very innovative and creative, great sound, fantastic technique, and control, great compositions! I think that it'll be very well received by music fans."
- Arturo Sandoval
"Simply a winner in all respects. It's virtuosic trumpet playing first of all, without sacrificing musicality, and the whole album is so well structured without losing the excitement of spontaneity at the same time. This is one I'll be listening to many times over. This CD gets right to the MUSIC from the first phrase of 'Prologue' to the last note of 'Epilogue' and every note in between!"
- Randy Brecker
"With his creative soul, stylistic prowess, and effortless technical skills, Charlie Porter is taking what can be played on the trumpet to new heights. He makes the impossible sound effortless and beautiful. Charlie and the great musicians on this album have set the bar at the highest level. 'Charlie Porter' will surely inspire the next generation of young trumpeters, and some of us older ones too. Bravo Charlie!"
- Wayne Bergeron
"An album as inventive as this, and as full to bursting with sparkling performances from Porter and some of Portland’s best, deserves such deep listening and return engagement"
- Robert Ham
Photo by Reed Ricker
"Porter's excellent stylish playing draws you in; you hang on each note"
- Palm Beach Post
"Fiery and intelligent"
- Wynton Marsalis
"Unorthodox and sophisticated"
- Oregon Artswatch
Internationally acclaimed trumpeter and composer Charlie Porter first cut his teeth on the New York jazz scene, while simultaneously studying classical trumpet performance at The Juilliard School under the tutelage of famed trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis. Charlie has since delved into many projects from jazz and classical to Arabic, Indian, African, Australian Aboriginal and Korean music, seeking to find common ground among all "good music" and avoiding the pigeonholing of genre labels.
Charlie has toured the world as a side-man and band-leader in jazz and also as a classical soloist and chamber musician, performing and recording with many notable musicians and groups over the last twenty years ranging from jazz greats like Joe Zawinul, Paquito D’Rivera, Charli Persip and Chuck Israels to classical artists such as Simone Dinnerstein, Sarah Chang, and Joyce DiDonato as well as world music greats Goran Bregovic, Marcel Khalife and Kim Duksoo, among many others. He is also a founding member of the grammy-nominated electro-acoustic Absolute Ensemble, directed by Kristjan Jarvi.
Porter holds degrees from The Juilliard School and Manhattan School of music in jazz and classical performance. He was also a Fulbright Scholar at the Paris Conservatory. Among many awards to his credit, Charlie was the first trumpeter to win 1st place in both the classical and jazz divisions of the National Trumpet Competition. As a composer, he has been commissioned by Chamber Music America and the Doris Duke Foundation.