Gregory Porter: Take Me to the Alley review - enough jazz attitude to keep in with the in-crowd

Take Me To The Alley
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Artist: Gregory Porter
Genre: Jazz
Label: Deccca/Blue Note

With the heart-on-the-sleeve tunes, the easy like Sunday morning voice, the could have been a contender back story, and, of course, that hat, Gregory Porter looks like a package made in marketing heaven.

But don't be fooled: he's the real deal. The California singer-songwriter has honed his own soulful, gospel-tinged sound over four excellent albums (his last, Liquid Spirit, sold a million and won a Grammy).

And it's only getting better with Take Me to the Alley. Tunes such as Holding On and Don't Lose Your Steam are like baths of warm syrup, while album closers Fan the Flames and French African Queen have enough jazz attitude, courtesy of pianist Chip Crawford and saxophonists Tivon Pennicoott and Yosuke Sato, to keep Porter in with the in-crowd.

Cormac Larkin

Cormac Larkin

Cormac Larkin, a contributor to The Irish Times, is a musician, writer and director