Album: Gregory Porter, Be Good (Motema)

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The Independent Culture

Vocal jazz is a difficult art, not helped by nostalgia acts and lame razzmatazz. But Porter has made the best vocal album for an age, following his impressive debut Water with a leap forward into greatness.

The rich, soulful voice is what you notice first (well, after the hat) but his original songs full of social conscience and sentiment are enhanced by beautifully underplayed production and musicianship. "Real Good Hands" is worthy of Gil, and "God Bless the Child" could make a banker cry.