An artist whose music is at once timeless yet utterly of its time, Gregory Porter solidifies his standing as his generation’s most soulful jazz singer-songwriter with the May 6 release of Take Me to the Alley, the much-anticipated follow-up to his million-selling Grammy-winning 2013 Blue Note debut Liquid Spirit. The album pre-order has launched today along with the release of two singles—“Holding On” and “Don’t Lose Your Steam”—which fans will receive instantly when pre-ordering a download of the album. The album is also available for pre-order on CD, and the singles are also available on streaming services.
This recording from jazz vocalist Gregory Porter, produced by Kamau Kenyatta, is billed as a program of songs based on themes of love and protest. Whether pining, yearning, or speaking out against injustice, Porter's voice is clearly understood in his attempt to tell you how he feels emotionally. While stylistically similar to the late Gregory Hines, Porter phrases like Stevie Wonder and enunciates the lyrics similar to Kurt Elling, while also incorporating techniques of singers like Jimmy Witherspoon and Joe Williams. Porter wrote most of the material, but also borrows from the show tune legacy, or modernists like Wayne Shorter. Many of these tracks feature him only with pianist Chip Crawford in preludes or complete duets, and they are introspective, as you might expect. Then there's the ode to riot-stricken Detroit "1960 What?," a powerful and deep piece that reminds the world what happened to the once industrial capital of the world