Graham Clark, Music Features Writer

Gregory Porter Shines In Scarborough

Gregory Porter
Photo: Cuffe and Taylor©
Gregory Porter Photo: Cuffe and Taylor©
Normally akin to playing summer concerts in more famous jazz outdoor venues such as Juan les Pins, Nice, or Montreux, Gregory Porter arrived at the Scarborough Open Air Theatre for a night of smooth and seductive jazz.

The two-time Grammy Award winner' warm and friendly personality shone through, becoming evident the moment he stepped onto the stage. "You are all true soldiers for coming out in the rain tonight," he said, saluting the audience members who had braved the unseasonably cool and wet conditions.

Fortunately, the rain stopped as Porter and his talented band took the Scarborough audience to warmer climes with On My Way to Harlem.

The overall sound was perfect; his smooth and silky voice could have even charmed a ferocious Scarborough seagull. Sharing memories about his family and the performers who have inspired him made the evening feel more personal.

Saxophonist Tivon Pennicott was as much part of the proceedings as Porter, his solo spots adding to the excellent musicianship on display that brought light and shade to Take Me To The Alley.

Paying tribute to The Temptations, Papa Was A Rolling Stone, and My Girl gave the audience an opportunity to witness another side of Porter.

Porter and his accomplished band elevated the night to a more emphatic and emotional one as the ninety-minute set concluded with Mr Holland, a track about racial prejudice and acceptance, making the vast surroundings feel more intimate.