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Billy Porter|Billy Porter Presents: The Soul of Richard Rodgers

Billy Porter Presents: The Soul of Richard Rodgers

Billy Porter

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Billy Porter Presents: The Soul of Richard Rodgers may come as a bit of surprise to his theater fans, following two other Broadway-themed records that took on a more, shall we say, orchestra-pit-friendly demeanor. Even 2005's appropriately titled At the Corner of Broadway + Soul, a live album with relatively limited accompaniment, kept its footing in the showmanship and vibrato of the Great White Way. Here, Porter instead commits to a decidedly urban contemporary approach, in terms of both production and delivery. It's a sound that recalls the '80s and '90s, including, for longtime Porter fans, his Untitled debut from 1997. The record is also meaningfully a "Billy Porter Presents" rather than a "Billy Porter Sings" album; he is featured on five of its twelve tracks, mostly duets. Those and the rest of the set are loaded with high-powered guests, who share over a half-dozen Tony and Grammy Awards, and many more nominations, between them. (Porter himself won a Tony in 2013 for Best Actor in a Musical for Kinky Boots.) They include Hamilton original Broadway cast members Leslie Odom, Jr., Renée Elise Goldsberry, and Christopher Jackson. The latter two reimagine "If I Loved You" from Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel with jazzy keyboards, funky bass, and a small chorus of soulful backing vocals. In a perhaps surprising move, given that it's often a highlight wherever it appears, Porter hands over Rodgers & Hart's "My Funny Valentine" to 2016 Tony winner Cynthia Erivo (The Color Purple), who does a smooth R&B rendition befitting the album's sultry tone. Among the more unexpected guests are Pentatonix, who open the track list with a stylized, syncopated soul twist on "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning," backing Porter's lead. Porter also does a duet with India.Arie, "Carefully Taught," from South Pacific, that's one of a few socially conscious tunes in the rotation. Also from South Pacific, "I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair," apparently selected for the phrase, is made into one. A duet between our presenter and Todrick Hall, it quickly trades the show tune's melody for some scathing and timely raps and vocal vamps directed at a certain reality star-turned-president ("Show him what the door is for"). A funky "Lady Is a Tramp" with rapper Zaire Park also takes liberties with the lyrics, and a solo Porter closes the album with a song he performed for Concert for America, which offered counterprogramming for Donald Trump's inauguration earlier in 2017. It's an R&B-styled reinvention of "Edelweiss" that maintains the original's sincerity and political subtext, with added commentary. For listeners not put off by the non-traditional takes or its 2017 context, the album delivers on talent and soul -- with gusto.

© Marcy Donelson /TiVo

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Billy Porter Presents: The Soul of Richard Rodgers

Billy Porter

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1
Oh, What a Beautiful Morning
00:03:10

Bob Horn, Mixing Engineer - Billy Porter, Producer, Arranger, Executive Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Gene Grimaldi, Mastering Engineer - Richard Rodgers, Composer - Oscar Hammerstein II , Lyricist - Ed Boyer, Mixing Engineer - Michael "Lofey" Sandlofer, Producer, Arranger, Drums, Keyboards, Percussion, Executive Producer, Mixing Engineer, Bass - Pentatonix, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Sean Klein, Assistant Engineer - Christian Almiron, Keyboards - James Sampliner, Producer, Arranger - Suzi Dietz, Executive Producer - Jamell Richardson, Guitar - Kevin "Doctor Sound" Fazio, Recording Engineer - Billy Porter, Pentatonix, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2017 Sony Music Entertainment

2
My Romance
00:03:51

Bob Horn, Mixing Engineer - Billy Porter, Producer, Arranger, Executive Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Gene Grimaldi, Mastering Engineer - Richard Rodgers, Composer - Lorenz Hart, Composer - Leslie Odom Jr., MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Michael "Lofey" Sandlofer, Producer, Arranger, Drums, Keyboards, Percussion, Executive Producer, Mixing Engineer - Leslie Odom, Jr., Vocal - Sean Klein, Assistant Engineer - Christian Almiron, Keyboards, Bass - James Sampliner, Producer, Arranger, Keyboards - Suzi Dietz, Executive Producer - Leslie Odom, Jr., Billy Porter, AssociatedPerformer - Jamell Richardson, Guitar - Kevin "Doctor Sound" Fazio, Recording Engineer

(P) 2017 Sony Music Entertainment

3
If I Loved You
00:04:45

Bob Horn, Mixing Engineer - Billy Porter, Producer, Arranger, Executive Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Gene Grimaldi, Mastering Engineer - Richard Rodgers, Composer - Oscar Hammerstein II , Composer - Erik Reichers, Mixing Engineer - Christopher Jackson, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Michael "Lofey" Sandlofer, Producer, Arranger, Drums, Keyboards, Percussion, Executive Producer, Mixing Engineer - Renée Elise Goldsberry, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Sean Klein, Assistant Engineer - Christian Almiron, Bass - James Sampliner, Producer, Arranger, Keyboards - Suzi Dietz, Executive Producer - Jamell Richardson, Guitar - Kevin "Doctor Sound" Fazio, Recording Engineer - Billy Porter, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Christopher Jackson, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2017 Sony Music Entertainment

4
With a Song in My Heart
00:03:31

Bob Horn, Mixing Engineer - Billy Porter, Producer, Arranger, Executive Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Gene Grimaldi, Mastering Engineer - Richard Rodgers, Composer - Lorenz Hart, Composer - Erik Reichers, Mixing Engineer - Donald Hayes, Saxophone - Michael "Lofey" Sandlofer, Producer, Arranger, Drums, Keyboards, Percussion, Executive Producer, Mixing Engineer, Strings - Sean Klein, Assistant Engineer - Christian Almiron, Keyboards, Bass - James Sampliner, Producer, Arranger, Keyboards - Suzi Dietz, Executive Producer - Jamell Richardson, Guitar - Joshua Henry, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Kevin "Doctor Sound" Fazio, Recording Engineer - Brandon Victor Dixon, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - John "Scrapper" Sneider, Arranger, Trumpet - Billy Porter, Brandon Victor Dixon, Joshua Henry, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2017 Sony Music Entertainment

5
I Have Dreamed
00:05:16

Bob Horn, Mixing Engineer - Billy Porter, Producer, Arranger, Executive Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Gene Grimaldi, Mastering Engineer - Richard Rodgers, Composer - Oscar Hammerstein II , Composer - Donald Hayes, Horn - Patina Miller, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Michael "Lofey" Sandlofer, Producer, Arranger, Drums, Keyboards, Percussion, Executive Producer, Mixing Engineer - Sean Klein, Assistant Engineer - Christian Almiron, Keyboards, Bass - James Sampliner, Producer, Arranger - Suzi Dietz, Executive Producer - Jamell Richardson, Guitar - Kevin "Doctor Sound" Fazio, Recording Engineer - Billy Porter, Patina Miller, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2017 Sony Music Entertainment

6
My Funny Valentine
00:04:31

Bob Horn, Mixing Engineer - Billy Porter, Producer, Arranger, Executive Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Gene Grimaldi, Mastering Engineer - Richard Rodgers, Composer - Lorenz Hart, Composer - Erik Reichers, Mixing Engineer - Michael "Lofey" Sandlofer, Producer, Arranger, Drums, Percussion, Executive Producer, Mixing Engineer - Cynthia Erivo, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Sean Klein, Assistant Engineer - Christian Almiron, Producer, Keyboards, Bass - James Sampliner, Producer, Arranger, Keyboards - Suzi Dietz, Executive Producer - Jamell Richardson, Guitar - Kevin "Doctor Sound" Fazio, Recording Engineer - Billy Porter, Cynthia Erivo, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2017 Sony Music Entertainment

7
I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair Explicit
00:04:13

Capathia Jenkins, Background Vocal - Bob Horn, Mixing Engineer - Billy Porter, Producer, Arranger, Executive Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Gene Grimaldi, Mastering Engineer - Richard Rodgers, Composer - Oscar Hammerstein II , Composer - Donald Hayes, Horn - Michael "Lofey" Sandlofer, Producer, Arranger, Drums, Guitar, Horn, Keyboards, Percussion, Executive Producer, Mixing Engineer, Bass - Mykal Kilgore, Background Vocal - Todrick Hall, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Sean Klein, Assistant Engineer - Christian Almiron, Keyboards - James Sampliner, Producer, Arranger - Suzi Dietz, Executive Producer - Jamell Richardson, Guitar - Kevin "Doctor Sound" Fazio, Recording Engineer - Amber Iman, Background Vocal - Billy Porter, Todrick Hall, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2017 Sony Music Entertainment

8
This Nearly was Mine
00:04:14

Deborah Cox, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Bob Horn, Mixing Engineer - Billy Porter, Producer, Arranger, Executive Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Gene Grimaldi, Mastering Engineer - Richard Rodgers, Composer - Oscar Hammerstein II , Composer - Michael "Lofey" Sandlofer, Producer, Arranger, Drums, Keyboards, Percussion, Executive Producer, Mixing Engineer - Sean Klein, Assistant Engineer - Christian Almiron, Keyboards, Bass - James Sampliner, Producer, Arranger, Keyboards - Suzi Dietz, Executive Producer - Jamell Richardson, Guitar - Kevin "Doctor Sound" Fazio, Recording Engineer - Billy Porter, Deborah Cox, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2017 Sony Music Entertainment

9
Bewitched Explicit
00:05:04

Bob Horn, Mixing Engineer - Billy Porter, Producer, Arranger, Executive Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ledisi, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Gene Grimaldi, Mastering Engineer - Richard Rodgers, Composer - Lorenz Hart, Composer - Donald Hayes, Arranger, Horn - Michael "Lofey" Sandlofer, Producer, Arranger, Drums, Keyboards, Percussion, Executive Producer, Mixing Engineer - Sean Klein, Assistant Engineer - Christian Almiron, Keyboards, Bass - James Sampliner, Producer, Arranger, Keyboards - Suzi Dietz, Executive Producer - Jamell Richardson, Guitar - Kevin "Doctor Sound" Fazio, Recording Engineer - Zaire Park, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Seneca "Purple Chrome", Recording Engineer - Billy Porter, Ledisi feat. Zaire Park, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2017 Sony Music Entertainment

10
Carefully Taught
00:04:36

India.Arie, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Bob Horn, Mixing Engineer - Billy Porter, Producer, Arranger, Executive Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Gene Grimaldi, Mastering Engineer - Richard Rodgers, Composer - Oscar Hammerstein II , Composer - Michael "Lofey" Sandlofer, Producer, Arranger, Drums, Percussion, Executive Producer, Mixing Engineer, Bass - Sean Klein, Assistant Engineer - Christian Almiron, Keyboards - James Sampliner, Producer, Arranger, Keyboards - Suzi Dietz, Executive Producer - Kevin "Doctor Sound" Fazio, Recording Engineer - Billy Porter, India.Arie, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2017 Sony Music Entertainment

11
Lady is a Tramp
00:03:48

Bob Horn, Mixing Engineer - Billy Porter, Producer, Arranger, Executive Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Gene Grimaldi, Mastering Engineer - Richard Rodgers, Composer - Lorenz Hart, Composer - Donald Hayes, Arranger, Horn - Michael "Lofey" Sandlofer, Producer, Arranger, Drums, Keyboards, Percussion, Executive Producer, Mixing Engineer, Bass - Sean Klein, Assistant Engineer - Christian Almiron, Keyboards, Bass - James Sampliner, Producer, Arranger, Keyboards - Suzi Dietz, Executive Producer - Jamell Richardson, Guitar - Kevin "Doctor Sound" Fazio, Recording Engineer - Zaire Park, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Billy Porter feat. Zaire Park, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2017 Sony Music Entertainment

12
Edelweiss
00:03:55

Michael McElroy, Arranger - Bob Horn, Mixing Engineer - Billy Porter, Producer, Executive Producer, MainArtist, Vocal - Gene Grimaldi, Mastering Engineer - Richard Rodgers, Composer - Oscar Hammerstein II , Composer - Michael "Lofey" Sandlofer, Producer, Drums, Keyboards, Percussion, Executive Producer, Mixing Engineer, Strings, Bass - Sean Klein, Assistant Engineer - Christian Almiron, Keyboards, Bass - James Sampliner, Producer, Keyboards, Piano - Suzi Dietz, Executive Producer - Jamell Richardson, Guitar - Kevin "Doctor Sound" Fazio, Recording Engineer

(P) 2017 Sony Music Entertainment

Presentación del Álbum

Billy Porter Presents: The Soul of Richard Rodgers may come as a bit of surprise to his theater fans, following two other Broadway-themed records that took on a more, shall we say, orchestra-pit-friendly demeanor. Even 2005's appropriately titled At the Corner of Broadway + Soul, a live album with relatively limited accompaniment, kept its footing in the showmanship and vibrato of the Great White Way. Here, Porter instead commits to a decidedly urban contemporary approach, in terms of both production and delivery. It's a sound that recalls the '80s and '90s, including, for longtime Porter fans, his Untitled debut from 1997. The record is also meaningfully a "Billy Porter Presents" rather than a "Billy Porter Sings" album; he is featured on five of its twelve tracks, mostly duets. Those and the rest of the set are loaded with high-powered guests, who share over a half-dozen Tony and Grammy Awards, and many more nominations, between them. (Porter himself won a Tony in 2013 for Best Actor in a Musical for Kinky Boots.) They include Hamilton original Broadway cast members Leslie Odom, Jr., Renée Elise Goldsberry, and Christopher Jackson. The latter two reimagine "If I Loved You" from Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel with jazzy keyboards, funky bass, and a small chorus of soulful backing vocals. In a perhaps surprising move, given that it's often a highlight wherever it appears, Porter hands over Rodgers & Hart's "My Funny Valentine" to 2016 Tony winner Cynthia Erivo (The Color Purple), who does a smooth R&B rendition befitting the album's sultry tone. Among the more unexpected guests are Pentatonix, who open the track list with a stylized, syncopated soul twist on "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning," backing Porter's lead. Porter also does a duet with India.Arie, "Carefully Taught," from South Pacific, that's one of a few socially conscious tunes in the rotation. Also from South Pacific, "I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair," apparently selected for the phrase, is made into one. A duet between our presenter and Todrick Hall, it quickly trades the show tune's melody for some scathing and timely raps and vocal vamps directed at a certain reality star-turned-president ("Show him what the door is for"). A funky "Lady Is a Tramp" with rapper Zaire Park also takes liberties with the lyrics, and a solo Porter closes the album with a song he performed for Concert for America, which offered counterprogramming for Donald Trump's inauguration earlier in 2017. It's an R&B-styled reinvention of "Edelweiss" that maintains the original's sincerity and political subtext, with added commentary. For listeners not put off by the non-traditional takes or its 2017 context, the album delivers on talent and soul -- with gusto.

© Marcy Donelson /TiVo

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