Meet New Yorkers who call Harlem home
Gotta keep its soul
Name: Gregory Generet
Lives: Hamilton Terrace
Occupation: Jazz singer, president of Hamilton Terrace Block Association
About: Generet has lived on Hamilton Terrace for 17 years.
“After we moved in, the prices for houses here just sort of shot up astronomically. Everyone was riding on somewhat of a high. A lot of people on the block moved on because they could get more for their house and move and retire to the South, where they could get much more for their money. When we bought this house, you couldn’t get insurance. Now suddenly, I have Corcoran, Prudential Elliman, Halstead, all those people clamoring to buy my house or sell my house for me.
“Starbucks had opened a store on Broadway and 138th hoping to get a lot of student clientele, and there were rarely more than five to 10 people in the place at the time. It was probably the lowest-grossing store in the city, and they couldn’t figure out why. You’re right in the middle of a Dominican and Puerto Rican area. You can’t swing a dead cat in either direction without finding a place that has a $1.50 cafe leche. It’s not the kind of community that would be able to handle a $4 cup of coffee. So we have that type of dance going on.
“Harlem is a very special place, it always has been, with its history, music, with culture. Now it’s been sort of encroached upon so people can rediscover that there are larger apartments and bigger houses. I don’t want to see Harlem lose its soul. I would really like to see people work within the community.”
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/real-estate/meet-new-yorkers-call-harlem-home-gallery-1.1043249?pmSlide=2#ixzz23ZG5LsO4
Gregory Generet supports God’s Love We Deliver - 10/26/11 Credit: New York Social Diary
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Gregory Generet charms the crowd at Bar Thalia and talks with Symphony Space Artistic Director Laura Kaminsky. Generet will perform with Tamara Tunie in Wall to Wall Gertrude’s Paris: symphonyspace.org/paris
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Once You’ve Been In Love - Gregory Generet, from (re) Generet-ion.
Source: SoundCloud / Gregory Generet
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New York, NY
Thereʼs little sexier than virtuoso talent suited-up like gentlemen, erupting into sumptuous, sensual, gut-wrenching jazz. Charismatic Gregory Generet and his band make the kind of joyful noise that soars. Every artist on stage is a source of power, invention and juice.
Generetʼs husky croon slip-slides though octaves in “Embraceable You” (George & Ira Gershwin). Stage-whispered scat gets under oneʼs skin and tickles. Piano accompaniment (Mike Renzi) is delicately beautiful. Later in the set, Renzi excels at hard-charging, up-tempo interpretation. “Get It Straight” (Thelonius Monk/Sally Swisher based on Monkʼs instrumental “Straight, No Chaser” features Gerald Cannonʼs impeccably finessed bass. The song is mellow and oh so cool.
“Remember when 42nd Street wasnʼt Disneyland?” A brief, poetic (not rosy) description prefaces the bandʼs dark, suggestive rendition of Cole Porterʼs “Love for Sale.” Generetʼs superb phrasing and lustrous baritone are perfect foil for the haunting, back alley saxophone of Mark Gross. The singerʼs laugh and gesture after the word “appetizing” seem satanic. Choruses bounce off the rafters. “How ʻbout you?” he invites a female member of the audience, reeling her in.
“Moondance” (Van Morrison) begins a cappella. The arrangement is borne aloft on unexpected, musical crosscurrents, including nuanced percussion from the extraordinary Willie Jones, III, who appears serene while his hands fly across drums with the speed and grace of beefed-up hummingbirds. The vocalistʼs hypnotic voice is in command.
One two, ONE, TWO, THREE: Blam! Itʼs a deeply funky, down and dirty “(Iʼm Your) Hoochie Coochie Man” (Willie Dixon). Generet howls, growls, dips and executes insinuating, though never vulgar, grind as the band detonates the ineffable tune. Itʼs a full frontal knockout, infectiously entertaining.
Patter is kept to a minimum. Solos are given reign. Unconditional commitment and balance of skill create an authenticity that is a privilege to experience.
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Moon Dance from (re) Generet-ion by Gregory Generet. Song by Van Morrison.
Source: SoundCloud / Gregory Generet
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“For anyone who is a singer, the ultimate goal is to be able to stand before people and be the storyteller of each song. It’s not an easy thing to do. You can get so wrapped into the music, the beats or rhythms or even your own voice, that you lose the story.”
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