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Chris Gillespie | Portraits of Porter

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Easy Listening: American Popular Song Jazz: Big Band Moods: Featuring Piano
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Portraits of Porter

by Chris Gillespie

... "dipping into the musical palettes of Chopin, Rachmaninov and Bach and adding the rich tradition of American Jazz produces many different tonal shades that attributed to this CD portrayed on the canvas of Cole Porter" Piano, Vocal, Big Band
Genre: Easy Listening: American Popular Song
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. All of You (feat. Tim Ouimette)
3:16 album only
2. Begin the Beguine
4:32 album only
3. I Concentrate On You
3:11 album only
4. Easy to Love
3:24 album only
5. Every Time We Say Goodbye (feat. Bucky Pizzarelli)
4:17 album only
6. I Love Paris
2:54 album only
7. Kate the Great (feat. Tim Ouimette)
3:29 album only
8. You'd Be so Nice to Come Home To
3:14 album only
9. So in Love (Vocal)
3:26 album only
10. What Is This Thing Called Love? (Piano Solo)
4:35 album only
11. I've Got You Under My Skin (feat. Bucky Pizzarelli)
3:23 album only
12. Love for Sale
4:47 album only
13. So in Love ( Piano Solo)
2:14 album only
14. What Is This Thing Called Love? (Vocal)
3:31 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Portraits of Porter
About this album:

The idea for recording a compilation of Cole Porter tunes had been with me for some time. It goes without saying that I love the craft of this prolific songwriter. While performing at the historic Bemelmans Bar, at the Carlyle Hotel, with its murals by Ludwig Bemelmans, the idea began to take on shape when Jacqueline Matisse, wife of Henry Matisse’s grandson, told me, “You play as if you were filling a canvas.” This, undoubtedly, was the catalyst that inspired me to title this CD Portraits of Porter.

I was further encouraged to embark on this project by another guest at the hotel who gave me a rare book, entitled Cole. This exquisite book, edited by Robert Kimball and with an essay about Porter by Brendan Gill, contains photos, anecdotes, and the lyrics of nearly 200 songs. A particular piece of memorabilia in the book caught my eye: a piece of paper on which Porter had written additional lyric for his song “All of You” from Silk Stockings. To my knowledge no one had ever used them, and so I decided to use the “abandoned” lyric and collaborated with Tim Ouimette in an arrangement for big band.
Over the course of my career, I have become aware that my musical interpretations, while affected by many influences—ranging from the condition of the piano to the attention of my audience to my mood while performing—almost always emerge as imaginary paintings, so that the listener is also “able to see” the music.

Most Porter songs (with the exception of “Kate the Great”) have been recorded countless times and heard equally as often. My challenge was to allow myself to be free from constraints that might have influenced other artists’ presentations. My renditions are inspired by two dynamic aspects of a song: the lyric attached to the melody and the melody attached to the lyric.

For instance my collage of Porter’s question “What Is This Thing Called Love?” and using Johann Sebastian Bach’s “A Musical Offering” as the answer, inspired me to find the commonality of these two melodies simply because their titles complement each other. Porter’s “So In Love” with its overwhelmingly passionate lyric (… “so taunt me and hurt me, deceive me dessert me, I’m yours till I die…”) moved me to dip into the musical palettes of Frederick Chopin and Sergei Rachmaninov. This produces many different tonal shades, as a first time listener to the album proposed, “every track is so different even your voice sounds different.” With that I feel I have achieved my goal of adding my own colors to Porter’s work. So I invite you to use your imagination to color your own canvas inspired by this album.

THANK YOU: Bucky and Martin Pizzarelli, Patricia Gillespie, The Carlyle Hotel, Gregory Dinella, Aleda Wright, Jaqueline Matisse, Darwin Best, Jim Czak, Tim Ouimette, Marcus Parsley, Twyla McFarlane, Fr. Charles Murr, Every musician who participated in this project, All of the patrons at the Carlyle Hotel and My Audience around the world who inspired and helped me to make this CD.

cover art: ‘The Key’ Oil on Canvas 41x26 1996 Chris Gillespie
Back Cover: Steinway D custom design by Dale Chihuly Photo: Scott Leen
Text: edited by Eleanor K. Sommer



to write a review

Chas Murr

The word "unique" doesn't really cut it when attempting to describe the sound of any Jazz artist; Jazz is unique, in and of itself. Nonetheless, for lack of better term, I use 'unique' to describe Chris Gillespie's amazing sound. And were he alive to savor this latest rendition of his brilliant classics, Cole Porter, I know, would agree with me wholeheartedly. His notes and lyrics have never been more delightfully interpreted than "a la Gillespie".
I have followed Chris Gillespie's career for nearly a decade. I know no one who can entice - or is it "coax"? - a piano to respond this magically.
To Portraits Of Porter I say: Bravo!
in great part, Jazz means unique.