Gregory Porter – All Rise

Gregory Porter has one of those voices which, as the cliché goes, could sing the telephone directory. Although 2017’s Nat King Cole & Me wasn’t exactly reaching for the Yellow Pages, it didn’t hit quite the same spot as his two previous self-penned mega-sellers Liquid Spirit and Take Me To The Alley. Fortunately for fans of his songwriting, All Rise is back to business, but with a twist: as Porter has it, on this album he “went big”, adding a string section, a 10-member choir, and a ‘handpicked’ brass section.

None of this gets in the way of Porter’s irresistible vocals, and top tunes such as Concorde and Merry Go Round already sound like future standards. The key track is Dad Gone Thing, where Porter’s rich voice combined with the obvious autobiographical sorrow, pain, and triumph, is genuinely very moving.