Velvet-voiced songsmith Myles Sanko delivered a slick and soulful set at the Jazz Cafe, heralding the arrival of new album, Just Being Me.
Was he just being him? True to the new soul idiom there is a healthy level of tribute and nods towards other storied artists in the genre. Having toured with Gregory Porter it is cool to hear the echoes of the one in the other’s style. Myles is able to pick up the soulful swells of the be-hatted Porter and take the vocals to a place that channels a more pop-ish range akin to Aloe Blacc.
Another interesting comparison for Myles’ emerging talent in the UK and beyond is his sound’s accessibility for would-be collaborators. When he introduces a number with the phrase ‘some of you may have sampled it‘ there is a conscious wink to the sampling and remix culture that has drawn artists like Alex Martius, Kuba, Ken Waters, Ric Ellsworth and Vigi into his world, and their fans with them. This is developing into something of a golden ticket for the new soul singers with a collaboration like Disclosure’s Holding On (ft. Gregory Porter) having the ability to catapult one artist into a totally new orbit — even galaxy — of fans. With a polished veneer like the one on display at the Jazz Cafe, Mr Sanko is well on the way to achieving this level.
Dapper and well-drilled, this was an evening where every ebb and flow of the set had been though through, rehearsed and delivered to perfection. Once or twice, the guard was dropped long enough for a more organic piece of instrumental flourish (see Tom White’s trombone solo), promptly evened out with a choreographed ‘crowd participation’ moment straight out of the Jamie Cullum playbook.
Myles Sanko’s Just Being Me is released by 213 Music on 28 October.