If you think that Esperanza Spalding is the only young jazz visionary who doubles as a razor-sharp singer/songwriter, give Gregory Porter a shot. "Painted on Canvas" illustrates that the Grammy-nominated gentle giant was right to leave football behind for the artist's life. Porter can lay back and be a smoothie like Lou Rawls, but his bear-like power comes through in unexpected places on this portrait of human potential. It's perfect Bill Withers-esque no-nonsense folk-soul meeting up with Charles Mingus' bop daring. – Nick Dedina, Google Play
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