Song of The Year-In Fashion by Gregory Porter
Your relationship with Gregory Porters music depends entirely on how much skip you need in your step. Music isn’t necessarily logical or linear in understanding so some people wake up to Pantera and function on the passionate antagonism in that kind of music. For people with a certain perspective and understanding Gregory Porters new album Take Me To The Alley is going to sound corny, sugary, and goofy but for the rest of us its utterly marvelous.
The attitude and intelligence of the album is For Once In My Life era Stevie Wonder pulled through a hard jazz prism. The crew is totally excellent; on In Fashion for example Chip Crawford’s piano playing is arresting and drips over the masterful melody. Take Me To The Alley is the most hummable album of 2016 and marks Porter stepping out of a grammy win into fully confident artist mode. He starts More Than A Woman literally humming to himself. He’s doing whatever he wants and getting better at it.
I can’t say enough about the group he gathered for this album; Alicia Olatuja plays the vocal harmonizing perfectly always adding richness to the songs but never fighting for screen time. Keyon Harrold on trumpet, Ondrej Pivec on organ (Don’t Be A Fool is fantastic), if you find this music silly I can’t fight you on it. I can’t try to sell you on the concentrated sunshine that Porter brings into my world but when I meet someone who loves him like I do we smile like idiots at each other because we share some kind of splendid secret. Really, we just have a larger catalog of songs we hum to ourselves than most people.