Gregory Porter - Take Me To The Alley (2016) [Official Digital Download 24/96]

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Gregory Porter - Take Me To The Alley (2016) [Official Digital Download 24/96]

Gregory Porter - Take Me To The Alley (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time - 51:19 minutes | 1,09 GB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Digital booklet

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 features a reworked version of ‘Holding On', the track Gregory co-wrote with electronic act Disclosure, as well as autobiographical songs including ‘Don't Lose Your Steam' and title track ‘Take Me To The Alley', both written with his family in mind.

With 2013's Liquid Spirit, jazz singer and songwriter Gregory Porter's Blue Note debut, he accomplished what few in his vocation have in recent decades - sold over a million albums globally. He also won the 2014 Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album. In addition, in 2015, U.K. electronic unit Disclosure released "Holding On" - a co-write with the singer that featured his vocal - as the lead single from their Caracal album. The track was a worldwide club hit and inspired numerous remixes. On Take Me to the Alley, Porter sticks to what he does best: writing and singing great songs in his honeyed, unhurried yet disciplined baritone. Kamau Kenyatta remains his producer and his longtime band is back - drummer Emanuel Harrold, bassist Aaron James, pianist Chip Crawford, and saxophonists Yosuke Sato (alto) and Tivon Pennicott (tenor) - with select guests including trumpeter Keyon Harrold, vocalist Alicia Olatuja, and organist Ondrej Pivec. The leadoff track, unsurprisingly, is his own version of "Holding On," with a double-timed, brushed hi-hat, Motown-esque bassline, and crystalline piano. It skirts the edges of pop-soul yet remains in the jazz camp. Porter's lyrics are direct, confessional, and poetic. The spiritual clarity of the gospel message in the title cut is underscored by Olatuja's harmony vocal and Harrold's melodic trumpet break. "Consequence of Love" is one of the finest moments here, a tender midtempo ballad offered with the no-nonsense conviction that reveals love may be beyond the measurement of the rational, but commitment to it remains necessary for the revelation of its truth. Porter employs gospelized soul-blues (à la Ray Charles) in "Don't Lose Your Steam," one of two songs inspired by his son. The horns frame the B-3 and rhythm section groove while Sato's solo becomes a responsorial voice. "Fan the Flames" is a swinging political post-bop finger-popper with punchy horns. It's an anthemic call to arms with great solos by Pennicott and Keyon Harrold. The artful, strident narrative in "French African Queen" is accompanied in feverish modal form by the ensemble, accented by fluid rhythms that touch on Latin and African grooves (check the Fela Kuti-inspired horns to boot). A second version of "Holding On," with urban soulman Kem, feels unnecessary in comparison to the first. Conversely, the closer, a second read of the ballad "Insanity" with Lalah Hathaway in duet, should have replaced the first one, because it is superior. A seamless intersection of pop-jazz and adult cotemporary soul, it is a set highlight. If there's a knock against Take Me to the Alley, it's that it feels a bit long. Editing out two or three tunes would have heightened its impact. That Porter doesn't break new ground here isn't a big deal; he doesn't need to. His voice, already a standard of excellence by which others are judged, is matched by a truth-laid-bare songwriting style that is singular and second to none.


01 - Holding On
02 - Don't Lose Your Steam
03 - Take Me To The Alley
04 - Day Dream
05 - Consequence Of Love
06 - In Fashion
07 - More Than A Woman
08 - In Heaven
09 - Insanity
10 - Don't Be A Fool
11 - Fan The Flames
12 - French African Queen Dynamic Range Report Analyzed: Gregory Porter / Take Me To The Alley

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
DR8 -0.67 dB -10.77 dB 5:02 01-Holding On
DR5 -0.68 dB -7.62 dB 3:18 02-Don't Lose Your Steam
DR8 -0.70 dB -11.41 dB 5:17 03-Take Me To The Alley
DR8 -0.70 dB -10.60 dB 3:52 04-Day Dream
DR7 -0.71 dB -9.83 dB 3:20 05-Consequence Of Love
DR7 -0.69 dB -9.32 dB 4:35 06-In Fashion
DR6 -0.70 dB -9.20 dB 3:31 07-More Than A Woman
DR8 -0.70 dB -10.95 dB 4:18 08-In Heaven
DR9 -0.67 dB -12.29 dB 5:37 09-Insanity
DR6 -0.70 dB -9.32 dB 4:32 10-Don't Be A Fool
DR7 -0.67 dB -9.72 dB 4:12 11-Fan The Flames
DR6 -0.67 dB -8.18 dB 3:45 12-French African Queen

Number of tracks: 12
Official DR value: DR7

Samplerate: 96000 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 24
Bitrate: 3033 kbps
Codec: FLAC

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