Gregory Porter

One Night Only: Live at the Royal Albert Hall

  • AllMusic Rating
    8
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Grammy-winning vocalist Gregory Porter has the kind of welcoming, burnished baritone that's perfect for jazz standards, R&B love songs, and entertaining audiences in grand theaters as he does on the 2019 concert album, One Night Only: Live at the Royal Albert Hall. Joined by his longtime quartet featuring pianist Chip Crawford, bassist Jahmal Nichols, drummer Emanuel Harrold, and saxophonist Tivon Pennicott, as well as Grammy-winning conductor/arranger Vince Mendoza and the London Studio Orchestra, Porter performs a bevy of his favorite standards and originals. Many of these are songs he originally recorded on his studio albums including 2013's Liquid Spirit, 2016's Take Me to the Alley, and 2017's Nat King Cole & Me. While he has issued a handful of similar concert albums, One Night Only is one of his most well-produced, perfectly framing his romantic lyricism in sophisticated orchestration and deft small group jazz backing. Fittingly, he begins with his urbane rendition "Mona Lisa," made famous by his idol Cole. From there, he offers equally lush and buoyant takes on classics like "But Beautiful," "Miss Otis Regrets," and "Sweet Lorraine." Also engaging are his originals like "No Love Dying," "Don't Lose Your Steam," and "When Love Was King," the latter of which gains added warmth via the rich orchestral arrangement. While any of Porter's previous albums are worthy starting places to discover his distinctive brand of vocal jazz, with its deft production and golden hour atmosphere, One Night Only is perhaps the definitive showcase for his skills, and a more than welcome addition to his live discography.