Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

This is the 1st of your 3 free articles

Become a member for unlimited website access and more.

FREE TRIAL Available!

Learn More

Already a member? Sign in to continue reading

Gregory Porter: Live in Berlin

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.
Gregory Porter: Live in Berlin
Gregory Porter: Live in Berlin

This past April, when Gregory Porter headlined the Royal Albert Hall, the London Telegraph’s Ivan Hewett perfectly captured the vocalist’s singular majesty as the “combination of that massively authoritative voice and the touchingly confessional nature of his songs that has proved irresistible.” Six weeks later, Porter arrived at the Philharmonie Berlin, a venue that, in an interview included in this triple-disc CD/DVD set, he ranks as high as Albert and Carnegie halls, likening its pentagonal, stage-encircling configuration to the intimacy of a church.

The cornerstone of the set is the DVD, capturing Porter’s May 18 concert in its entirety and stretching to just under two hours, including elucidating cut-ins in which he explains the geneses of various compositions. (The two CDs also feature the full 16-song show.) The fan-friendly set list covers all four of Porter’s albums, with greatest focus on his latest, Take Me to the Alley. Supporting Porter are three longstanding bandmates—pianist Chip Crawford, saxophonist Tivon Pennicott and drummer Emanuel Harrold—plus one newcomer, bassist Jahmal Nichols, all integral to an utterly captivating evening.

Of significant added value, a standalone video interview provides an incisive examination of Porter’s artistic evolution. “I tend not to do a lot of things in a traditional way,” he says. “I kind of do it my way. … I’m just doing my thing.” Amen.

Originally Published