|This Associated Press photo shows jazz singer-songwriter Gregory Porter in 2014 with a Grammy Award for Best Vocal Jazz Album, "Liquid Spirit." In late January, he won another Grammy for Best Vocal Jazz Album, "Take Me to the Alley."|
By VICTOR E. SASSON
NEW YORK, N.Y. -- A roar from the audience unlike anything I've heard before greeted soulful jazz singer Gregory Porter when he stepped onto the stage at Town Hall.
On Friday night, Porter and the sextet backing him were showered with more applause, shouts of approval and frequent amens during a set that lasted nearly 2 hours, including encores.
In his fourth annual Valentine's Week concert, Porter talked about himself more than he did when me and my wife saw him perform in both 2015 and 2016 at the International Jazz Festival in Montreal.
He recalled that "8 years ago" audience members could have seen him sing in a small jazz club for $3.50, including a free glass of beer.
Now, the singer-songwriter is traveling and performing all over the world in support of several albums, spreading a gospel of romantic and spiritual love in a warm, expressive baritone.
Porter is known for a repertoire of unique songs, so his audiences aren't looking for renditions of great jazz or soul standards.
Porter also sang the heart-breaking "When Love Was King."
The song has the force of a spiritual, but the past tense in the title is especially poignant.
See: Gregory Porter wows Montreal
Scarlatto's delicious Green Sauce -- made with arugula, basil, parsley, anchovies, grated cheese and extra-virgin olive oil -- accompanied the bread basket instead of butter, but the bread itself could have been better.
The Steamed Mussels came with a small seafood fork for the mussels and a large spoon for the broth.
The first-floor dining room was packed and noisy when we left around 6:20 Friday night to walk over to Town Hall. Scarlatto has no coat racks or coat room, and the bathrooms are down a flight of stairs.
|See the website for Scarlatto, the Italian word for scarlet.|