Avery Sunshine is a Gospel influenced pianist and singer who is promoting here second album “The Sunroom”. She’s accompanied by Dana Johnson, her songwriting partner, guitarist and producer and together they perform a Jazz inflected selection of songs that show her impressive voice. She also maintains some good natured banter with the audience throughout her set. A great way to start tonight’s show.
Grammy winning Jazz vocalist, Gregory Porter makes his first visit to Brighton tonight and not surprisingly it’s a sold out show. He strides onstage to huge applause and smiles as he says “someone told me I was playing in a horse stable tonight” as he indicates around the ornate interior of the Dome.
He’s backed by his long standing band made up of Chip Crawford, his pianist and musical director, Aaron James playing upright and four string bass, drummer Emanuel Harrold, and alto saxophonist Yosuke Sato. Looking dapper in his three pience shiny suit and trademark Kangol hat he leads the band through a broad selection of songs from his three albums to date.
Genial as well as being a great singer, Gregory Porter effortlessly kept the seated crowd enraptured with his dynamic range and brilliant selection of songs. With his deep and resonant baritone sounding as great as ever, we got to hear “Hey Laura”, “Water Under Bridges”, “No Love Dying”, ‘Musical Genocide”, “Work Song”, “On My Way To Harlem”, “1960 What?”. On “Work Song” he moves away from the microphone to use the acoustic effects of the Dome’s curved ceiling to project his voice showing just how powerful it really is.
When they play “Wolfcry” from the 2013 album “Liquid Spirit” Chip Crawford plays the intro alongside snippets of “Peter And The Wolf” and the “Theme From Star Wars”and it’s an amusing touch to a powerful song. The other band members all get a chance to solo, and it’s clear that Gregory Porter has really assembled some fantastic musicians, with saxophonist Yosuke Sato being applauded for his masterful solos throughout the set.
After about 90 minutes, the band leave the stage to a thunderous standing ovation before returning to play “Be Good (Lion’s Song)” from the 2012 album “Be Good”. It’s always a pleasure to hear fantastic songs performed this well.