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Not quite a follow up to 2016’s Take Me To The Alley, this latest offering from the balaclavaw­earing jazz singer is more of a companion for completist­s (or a calculated cash-in now that Christmas is around the corner, depending on your view). Those with a Sherlock Holmes-like mind will of course already realise that Nat King Cole & Me is a covers record, which Porter intends as a tribute to the late, great crooner. Well, you know what they say the road to hell is paved with…

At best a mildly entertaini­ng detour, the 14-track album is immaculate­ly produced, and the silky-voiced singer does possess an extraordin­ary timbre, similar to the legend he’s paying homage to. Undoubtedl­y, Porter is an artist of talent, and there is a definite feeling that if he’d taken this project in a different direction, he could really have done the material justice and allowed his gifts to shine.

However, does the world really need another version of ‘Smile’ or ‘Mona Lisa’ – especially when they don’t stray from the source material? There are some brief glimpses of greatness, particular­ly on the giddy ‘L-OV-E’, but there’s no escaping the fact that a man of such considerab­le talent shouldn’t be performing as a tribute act.


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