Gregory Porter – Take Me To The Alley

Gregory Porter "Take Me To The Alley"We’re happy to annouce that Gina is back from a much needed break and in the meantime, a lot of great new releases flooded our offices. And it is always a big difference reviewing a new album after just one listen or after living with it for a while.

And after listening to Gregory Porter‘s new album a lot, it is clear that I do prefer the midtempo and ballad material to the more faster and “louder” material, such as the first single “Don’t Lose Your Steam” which reminds me of some of the soul shakers and stirrers of the 60s. But it is in the soulful, intimate and deeply touching songs like “Insanity”, “Holding On”, or “In Fashion” where Gregory really truly excels.

There are a lot of little extras like a beautiful, sensitive trumpet solo by Keyon Herrold (“Insanity”) or the consistently brilliant production of Kamau Kenyatta who also wrote the arrangements with the leader and pianist Chip Crawford (Keyon and Kamau did the horn arrangements). The always charming, sympathetic and warm voice of Alicia Olatuja graces the folky “Don’t Be A Fool” which also boasts with a sexy sax solo by Tivon Pennicott.

I’m really in love at this time though with “Daydream” with its magical chorus that stays in your head like crazy or “In Heaven” with its sweet and lovely lyrics. And of course “In Fashion” with its irresistible hook and funny, but compelling piano tinklings. Gregory is winding up his German tour this Friday (Stadtpark, Hamburg) before he’s touring the US in June. And he will be back in Europe for all the major and not so major festivals over here. Welcome back!

 

 

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