Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Sublimely soulful voice enraptures audience

Gregory Porter, The MAC

You know you're at a jazz performance when people applaud about five times throughout each song and the woman next to you tells you off for taking notes on an electronic pad.

Both these things occurred during ultra-smooth jazz singer Gregory Porter's festival turn at the MAC on Sunday. And to be fair, both were absolutely warranted. The dizzying virtuoso displays of piano, drums, bass and sax provoked involuntary spasms of joyful clapping and this hack's feverish ambience-killing on an iPhone definitely wasn't very “jazz”.

“There's an Irishman on stage tonight, and that's me,” purred Porter.

Looking half-Harlem gangster/half-hobo chic, he paid tribute to his Irish grandmother before treating the audience to mellifluous grooves topped off with his sublimely soulful voice. Porter's music is catchy and accessible enough to have featured on Jools Holland. As they used to say on The Fast Show... “Nice”.

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