Gregory Porter has announced his first-ever holiday album called Christmas Wish, featuring a selection of time-honoured classics as well as three original songs.
The record is a tribute to Porter’s favourite time of the year, and to beloved singers, songwriters and interpreters including Stevie Wonder, Ella Fitzgerald, Marvin Gaye, Dinah Washington and Nat King Cole.
Backed by his longtime band and produced by repeat collaborator Troy Miller, with orchestral contributions recorded at Abbey Road, the album features inspired interpretations of carols, jazz-age standards and soulful ’60s deep cuts, including “Silent Night,” “Little Drummer Boy,” Marvin Gaye’s “Purple Snowflakes,” Stevie Wonder’s “Someday at Christmas” and Frank Loesser’s “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?,” which features a guest appearance by recent Grammy winner Samara Joy.
It also includes Porter’s new additions to the holiday season: “Christmas Wish,” “Heart for Christmas,” and “Everything’s Not Lost.”
Listen to “Everything’s Not Lost” here:
The elegant piano ballad serves as Porter’s plea to remember those less fortunate than ourselves.
“I’m always thinking of balance,” he says. “That has been instilled in me and it keeps coming up in a lot of my music. At your highest, at your greatest, at your most pleasant time, don’t forget about other people who are suffering.”
Christmas Wish features pianist Chip Crawford, drummer Emmanuel Harrold, bassist Jahmal Nichols, organist Ondre Pivec, harmonica player Gregoire Maret, and flautist/saxophonist Tivon Pennicott. It also includes backing vocals from Stephanie Fisher-Alvarenga, Chris Ashley Anthony and Sheherazade Holman. The orchestral arrangements were performed by the Kingdom Orchestra and recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London.
Porter’s last five albums have all reached the Top 10, and he has won two Grammy Awards out of seven nominations. His last album was 2020’s All Rise, which earned a Grammy nomination for best R&B album.
Here’s the track listing for Christmas Wish:
- Silent Night
- Christmas Waltz
- Everything’s Not Lost
- Someday at Christmas
- Purple Snowflakes
- Little Drummer Boy
- What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve? (feat. Samara Joy)
- Christmas Wish
- Cradle in Bethlehem
- Do You Hear What I Hear?
- Christmas Time is Here
- Heart for Christmas
Gregory Porter’s Christmas Wish is out Nov. 3, 2023, via Blue Note and Decca.