This is a blog share of a blog post based on Porter Carroll Jr. Let me preface it by saying that this show is NOT the kind of cabaret we associate with us here at TCCAN. We are always trying to define very clearly what it is that we do. And this strays far from it. But I am also open to continued discussions of the broader concept of cabaret.
Background - Porter is a veteran Blues & R&B performer with a somewhat successful career as a member of Atlantic Starr who had a 70's history in the vein of Earth Wind & Fire or the O'Jays. So he does bring both clout and experience to the table. Looking at his work available, I think we would call him more of a song stylist hearkening back to the lounge acts of the late 1960's. The sort who is all about a slick showband, showcasing some vocal acrobatics in a small and savvy setting.
But what I do appreciate about the article is his sense of making a song uniquely his own, which we talk about often. Interestingly, he refers much to the Contemporary American Songbook which was a new concept to me. He talked about Gershwin & Cole Porter with a reverence. But he is also speaking about a baby boomer audience that gives that same respect to artists like Hall & Oates, Jimmy Webb & Frank Sinatra. Thinking about it, there is certainly an audience that would give credence to this mission. Here are a few quotes from him that I have to admire. "The listener
gets to enjoy some familiar songs, presented in an entirely new way. Me
and the guys in the band do, too. Every night doing this is a new
experience for us. It’s an incredible feeling.”
Then he goes on to say "But deconstructing old standards into new and imaginative creations is both a tricky and risky business." It begs us to ask the question what is an old standard? And for our members - we do bring a wealth to the table. Some consider that to be something between Rodgers & Hart or Sondheim. Others would say it is Johnny Mercer. Or Joni Mitchell & Carly Simon. As far apart as possible, but none exactly a wrong answer. Interesting water cooler discussion.
Full blog share:
Huffington Post: Porter Carroll Jr.