The first of four David Porter albums issued on Stax subsidiary Enterprise, Gritty, Groovy, & Gettin' It was released months after songwriting partner Isaac Hayes' Hot Buttered Soul. Despite ceasing their incredible alliance as a composing duo, Hayes produced and co-arranged Porter's debut set. It wasn't nearly as successful as Hayes' solo work, but it did reach number four on Billboard's R&B Albums chart. There's some of the dramatic sweep heard in Hayes' releases, albeit with little in the way of sprawl. Apart from a fresh seven-minute version of Porter and Ed Lee (aka Isaac Hayes)' "Can't See You When I Want To," originally recorded by Porter for Stax in 1965, the material is compact and straightforward with a few thrills. With no new compositions, Porter surprisingly looks to other writers, as on a radically upbeat take of "I Only Have Eyes for You," a faithful version of Curtis Mayfield's ballad "Just Be True" (a 1964 hit for Gene Chandler), and a soaring, strings-heavy look at Jesse and JoAnne Belvin's "Guess Who." The 2013 reissue adds both sides of Porter's lone Stax-proper single, which wasn't distributed on a nationwide level. Decent previously unreleased tracks and some radio ads and jingles are also included, and the booklet features extensive liner notes.
AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman