These Years

Jennifer Porter

Jennifer Porter's new album from Grammy-winning producer, Jay Newland, featuring five original songs by Jennifer and five covers from The Rolling Stones, Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, and Bobby Sharpe.

After years working just under the radar in the music industry, Jennifer’s beautiful voice and evocative songs caught the attention of 12-time Grammy-winning producer, Jay Newland. "These Years" is the product of their collaboration, and consists of five original songs by Jennifer and five covers of songs by The Rolling Stones, Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, and Bobby Sharp. The music features Jennifer’s unique, sultry voice backed by a stellar band. The album also showcases guest appearances by Grammy nominee C.J. Chenier on accordion and Country Music Hall-of-Famer, Charlie McCoy on harmonica and vibes.

Jennifer worked with longtime friends and Grammy-winners, Lawrence Manchester, and Adam Ayan on the mixing and mastering of the album. Manchester currently works as a producer and lead music mixer on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. To date, Ayan has mastered 42 Grammy Award-winning recordings.

Jennifer’s previous album "Easy Living", with Manchester, was nominated for a 2015 Independent Music Award in the Jazz With Vocals category, and received airplay throughout the country, including over a year on KJAZZ in Los Angeles, WWOZ in New Orleans and Public Radio International’s "Jazz After Hours." "These Years" is Jennifer's seventh album to date.

"These Years" is heavily influenced by Soul, Blues, and Roots music and will be released under Porter’s Maine-based label, Cougar Moon Music. This new album is a departure from her previous Jazz and film score recordings, yet retains Jennifer’s rich, lovely sound.

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Mr. Barrington (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Jennifer Nichole Porter

The hauntingly beautiful piano score from the feature film, MR. BARRINGTON, including a re-mix of the end credits love song, "Blow The Candles Out."

Jennifer Porter (credited as Jennifer Nichole Porter in film roles) is an award-winning musician, actor and screenwriter. Originally trained as an Opera singer, Jennifer’s musical range spans an array of genres. She is equally at home singing with Orchestras, Jazz combos and Blues bands. She is also an accomplished Blues pianist, and has played with C.J. Chenier, Nathan and The Zydeco Cha-Chas, and Blues artists Debbie Davies and Chris Thomas King. In 1989 Jennifer was the first vocalist in Maine inducted into the prestigious musical honor society, Pi Kappa Lambda.

Her recent album Easy Living, from Grammy award-winning producer Lawrence Manchester, was nominated for a 2015 Independent Music Award in the Jazz With Vocals category, and can be heard on jazz stations around the country, including KJAZZ in Los Angeles, WWOZ in New Orleans, and Public Radio International’s Jazz After Hours. Her previous recordings include Hyacinth Boy Blue (1998), the soundtrack for 40 WEST (2011) and The Way You Look Tonight (2012).

With Dana Packard, she co-founded The Originals Theatre Company in 1988, and Honey Tree Films in 1998. Her more than 70 stage credits include Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire, Rose in The Woolgatherer, Scarlett in Coyote Ugly, Celeste in Little Egypt, May in Fool For Love, Aldonza in Man of La Mancha and Patsy Cline in Always...Patsy Cline.

Jennifer starred in, and composed and performed the film score for BALLAD OF IDA AND DOOB (1999) and wrote, starred in, and composed and performed the film scores for the critically acclaimed MR. BARRINGTON (2003) now available in several languages, and the multiple award-winning 40 WEST (2011) with Wayne Newton. For her work on 40 WEST, Jennifer received Awards of Merit for Acting and Original Score from The Accolade Competition, Gold Prestige Awards for Acting, Original Score and Original Song, and a Silver Prestige Award for Original Screenplay.

Jennifer is a proud member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the Writers Guild of America, SAG / AFTRA, and Actors’ Equity Association.

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Easy Living

Jennifer Porter

INDEPENDENT MUSIC AWARD NOMINEE - JAZZ WITH VOCALS - Famous and lesser-known Jazz standards sung beautifully, feeling at once timeless and new.

Blessed with a beautiful voice, an infectious musical spirit, and the ability to immediately find the center of each note, Jennifer Porter always uplifts the classic material that she sings. On Easy Living, she performs with a notable group of excellent jazz musicians, affectionately interpreting classic songs, making them sound both timeless and new.

The program begins with a wonderful treatment of “Easy Living,” with Jason Anick’s violin adding to the dreamy atmosphere. Jennifer does justice to the familiar melody of “The Very Thought of You,” bringing her brand of quiet passion to the piece. “Nice Work If You Can Get It” gives the band a chance to swing hard with Jennifer sounding relaxed, floating above the ensemble.

“Crazy He Calls Me” is an important song in Jennifer Porter’s life. Hearing Billie Holiday’s recording inspired her to switch her focus from opera to jazz. Rather than copy Lady Day, her heartfelt rendition is in her own sweet-toned voice. On this song and the following “But Not For Me,” Matt Langley’s warm tenor echoes the singer’s romantic mood.

During a medium-tempo “The Best Things In Life Are Free,” Jennifer swings simply, does not waste a note, and every sound she creates is lovely. A slightly faster-than-usual version of “Gone With The Wind,” “Yesterdays” (which has Jennifer reshaping the melody a bit) and a swinging “I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm” precede a tender version of “I Cover The Waterfront.” On the latter two songs, Sonny Barbato’s piano recalls 1950s Oscar Peterson a bit in its fluency, effortless swing and taste.

Jennifer successfully revives the relatively obscure “Travelin’ Light,” one of the warmest performances of the CD. “You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To” contains a surprise, an effective chorus of scat-singing that works very well on the up-tempo version. The memorable program concludes with “Where Or When” which is taken at first as a duo by Jennifer and pianist Barbato before Anick’s warm violin joins in.

No matter what she sings, Jennifer Porter brings an intimate gentle swing and a joyful spirit to the music that she loves.

–Scott Yanow, author of eleven books including The Jazz Singers, The Great Jazz Guitarists, Trumpet Kings, Jazz On Film and Jazz On Record 1917-76

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The Way You Look Tonight

Jennifer Porter

Beautifully sung, hard-swinging renditions of classic Jazz Standards

THE WAY YOU LOOK TONIGHT

As an award-winning actress, musician, screenwriter, composer and arranger, Jennifer Porter leads a very busy life.

It is obvious from listening to The Way You Look Tonight that Jennifer has a beautiful voice, a real feeling for vintage lyrics and the ability to swing at every tempo. Featured on the CD are pianist / accordionist Sonny Barbato, guitarist Kevin Barry, trumpeter Trent Austin, saxophonist Matt Langley, drummers Les Harris, Jr. and Dave Jamrog, and bassists Jim Lyden and Aubrey Harris. Each contributes colorful solos and blends in very well with Jennifer's voice.

The set opens with "The Way You Look Tonight," a happy version reminiscent of Billie Holiday's recording with Teddy Wilson. Austin's exuberant trumpet is a major asset. "There's A Small Hotel," inspired by Ella Fitzgerald's version from her Rodgers and Hart Songbook project, is sung sweetly and with feeling. Duke Ellington's "Sophisticated Lady" is taken as a tasteful duet with pianist Barbato.

"I'll Get By," usually performed as a slow ballad, is taken as a medium-tempo cooker with some fine tenor from Langley. Jennifer's expressive vocal on "A Foggy Day" is followed by a creative trumpet solo and a colorful tradeoff by piano and drums. After a quietly passionate version of "Don't Explain," Jennifer swings "There Is No Greater Love," which has an excellent chorus from guitarist Barry.

A playful and sensuous "Ain't Misbehavin'" and a spirited "I'm Beginning To See The Light" precede Jennifer's heartfelt duet with guitarist Barry on "Can't Help Lovin' That Man." The set concludes with a rollicking "Rolling In My Sweet Baby's Arms" which features infectious New Orleans parade rhythms, Sonny Barbato on accordion, and a party atmosphere that is pure joy.

Audiences will love the way Jennifer Porter uplifts songs with her simple and effective delivery, her phrasing, and the beauty of her voice.

–Scott Yanow, author of ten books including The Jazz Singers, Trumpet Kings, Jazz On Film and Jazz On Record 1917-76

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