You need no excuses to listen to Gregory Porter. It’s always a delight. If you’re inspired to cover his songs, do your detective work first. Like a lot of jazz singers (Amy Winehouse comes to mind) Gregory often ghosts consonants like d, t, n & mat the end of words. Softened endings often suit the jazz mood. But be careful when you sing a cover: a softened consonant isn’t the same as no consonant.
Try this exercise: in his song Be Good (Lion’s Song) Gregory sings the phrase Be Good fifteen times. Can you hear the dsound every time? Does the d sound exactly the same every time?
Imagine this: you want to sing a cover version of a song. The song’s in English. You like the chorus, but you can’t hear the other words clearly. What do you do? Close your eyes, mumble a version of the words you didn’t hear and hope your audience doesn’t notice or care? They will.
Suppose you want to cover Paolo Nutini’s Scream (Funk My Life Up). It’s a song that switches between clear and fuzzy lyrics. Every word up to and including the first “Funk my Life Up” is clear, but what on earth comes after that? No problem: grab a pen and a piece of paper. Write down every word, or syllable you hear in the next line (around 20 seconds in). It begins with “Lips” and lasts around 5 seconds. You might need to listen a few times. Good luck: