The jazz voice of a generation, José James returns with a moodier, edgier and more sensual sound, drawing inspiration from the worldwide underground. His debut LP ‘The Dreamer’ (released in 2007 on Brownswood Recordings) was crammed with smoky, low-slung jazz grooves blessed with Jose’s rich baritone vocals. Magnificent self-penned works nestled alongside uniquely crafted cover versions of John Coltrane, Rashaan Roland Kirk and even West Coast hip hop institution Freestyle Fellowship. Pursuing the same deeply soulful vocal jazz tradition exemplified by Babs Gonzales, Billie Holliday, Joe Williams and Leon Thomas, ‘The Dreamer’ quickly cemented Jose’s stature and raw talent within the worldwide jazz community.
Since ‘The Dreamer’ José has performed in 30 countries, worked with some of the best, wisest and finest artists in the world such as Chico Hamilton and Junior Mance and he has built a community of friends and fellow music-lovers all over the globe. The distance from
“There is community on this record and my community has grown –Minneapolis gave way to New York, while New York in turn gave way to London, Paris, Madrid, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Sao Paolo, Berlin, LA, Rotterdam, Detroit, Barcelona, Brussels... I've been living and working in these cities – digitally, long-term, short-term, paying rent or whatever, for 2 years or so and it's all there.”
José started the process with LA’s beat conductor supreme Flying Lotus (Warp/Brainfeeder) in April 2008:
“In a phone call he changed the entire scope of my musical direction and focus.”
Tossing ideas back and forth between the East Coast and West Coast, the pair crafted a handful of delightfully dusty, slightly dishevelled hip hop soul joints. Anchoring the album in hip hop’s boom-clap foundation, José is perfectly at ease riding FlyLo’s bumpy sketches, just as he is contributing good-time vibes to DJ Mitsu’s sunshine soundtrack ‘PROMISE IN LOVE’, blessing Moodyman’s retro jazz-funk groove ‘DETROIT LOVELETTER’, or indeed morphing Benga’s dub step anthem ‘Emotions’ into a killer live jazz workout.
José announced his comeback with a killer 12” featuring ‘BLACKMAGIC’ remixes from the hotly-tipped Joy Orbison and dub step innovator Untold. Reworks by dOP and IZMABAD are available digitally.
JOSE JAMES – ‘BLACKMAGIC’
3. LAY YOU DOWN
4. PROMISE IN LOVE
6. MADE FOR LOVE
7. SAVE YOUR LOVE FOR ME
8. THE GREATER GOOD
11. LOVE CONVERSATION
13. NO TELLIN'