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Gregory Porter announces new album Take Me To the Alley

by Khyle Deen . Published Fri 01 Apr 2016 20:56

This generation’s most successful jazz and soul singer-songwriter, the man in the hat, Mr Gregory Porter, is back, with new album 'Take Me To The Alley'.

Released on Decca Records on 6th May, this is the eagerly awaited follow-up to Porter's sensational modern classic, the Platinum-selling 'Liquid Spirit', which took the UK by storm last year as it broke into the Top 10 and became the most streamed jazz album of all time. The record quickly grew into a global phenomenon, selling a million albums worldwide, and positioning Porter as the voice of the moment. ‘Liquid Spirit’ took Porter from being the biggest name on the jazz scene to being one of the most sought-after singers around today, performing sell-out shows at such venues as London's Royal Albert Hall, the Roundhouse and Shepherd’s Bush Empire, and being invited to perform on high profile TV programmes including Graham Norton, Strictly Come Dancing and the BBC Music Awards.

Gregory Porter’s meteoric rise and breakout from the jazz world didn't stop there. The singer has time and again demonstrated an innate ability to transcend genre and connect with audiences from all walks of life. Porter was asked to be the guest vocalist on electronic duo Disclosure's lead single 'Holding On' from their 2015 album ‘Caracal’. BBC Radio 1 listeners were finally introduced to this voice and Gregory was invited by the station to perform in Ibiza, where not only the Disclosure track but his own – Liquid Spirit Claptone Remix – became the most popular tracks on the island. He had become the dance scene sensation of the summer.

For the first time, hit track 'Holding On' can be heard in its original form. On this album, a beautifully spacious arrangement is revealed, brimming with lyrics about the “irrepressible force of love”. The decidedly dressed-down version unveils the command of Porter’s songwriting gifts as it allows space for the romantic lyrics and simple melodic line to shine.

Porter stated: “It’s a way of saying that a song is a song is a song. The lyrics and the intention of the song come through no matter what kind of bells and whistle are going on.”

The first single from 'Take Me To The Alley' is the arresting and bluesy 'Don't Lose Your Steam’, which Porter wrote with his three-year-old son Demyan in mind. Propelled by a stomping, organ-enhanced groove, Porter lyrics speak of staying committed to one’s goals, regardless of hardship. ‎

Porter said of the album: "With this record I continue to condense life experience into melody and most of all put love in the air. Very excited to share the music with my fans or anyone within the sound of my heart”

To see Gregory in action is a life experience and next month Gregory returns to the UK for an extensive headline tour, including two London dates. This demand, and level of public affection, has seen Porter become an adopted national treasure in the UK, having performed for the Queen multiple times, and graced the stages of the UK's best summer festivals, with a show-stopping performance at Glastonbury last year.

A moving and passionate record, 'Take Me To The Alley' reveals even more about this unique artist, reminding us of the sheer talent of “golden-voiced” Gregory Porter.


Track listing for Take Me To The Alley:

1. Holding On (Gregory Porter/James John Napier/Guy William Lawrence/Howard John Lawrence)
2. Don't Lose Your Steam (Porter)
3. Take Me To The Alley (Porter)
4. Day Dream (Gregory Porter/Craig Dawson)
5. Consequence of Love (Porter)
6. In Fashion (Porter)
7. More Than A Woman (Porter)
8. In Heaven (Darlene Andrews, Gregory Porter’s cousin)
9. Insanity (Porter)
10. Don't Be A Fool (Porter)
11. Fan The Flames (Porter)
12. French African Queen (Porter)

2016 UK Headline Tour Dates:

04 APR London Royal Albert Hall
05 APR Southend Cliffs Pavilion
06 APR Bristol Colston Hall
08 APR Manchester Bridgewater Hall
09 APR Sheffield City Hall
10 APR Edinburgh Festival Theatre
11 APR Aberdeen His Majestys Theatre
12 APR Perth Concert Hall
14 APR Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
15 APR Sage Gateshead
16 APR Leicester De Montfort Hall
17 APR Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
19 APR Brighton Dome
20 APR Cardiff St Davids Hall
21 APR Poole Lighthouse
22 APR Plymouth Pavilions
24 APR Birmingham Symphony Hall
28 APR London Eventim Apollo

'Take Me To The Alley' is produced by Kamau Kenyatta

Reinforcing their well-honed rapport is the return of Porter’s core accompanying musicians – pianist and music director Chip Crawford, bassist Aaron James, drummer Emanuel Harrold, alto saxophonist Yosuke Sato, and tenor saxophonist Tivon Pennicott. Singer Alicia Olatuja, trumpeter Keyon Harrold, and organist Ondrej Pivec also make appearances throughout.

* “golden-voiced” - The Independent


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