Friday, June 27, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jose James

Artist:Jose James
Album:No Beginning No End

Like his buddy Robert Glasper, Jose James straddles the line between jazz and soul. Both guys are signed to Blue Note Records. I would describe James as a Neo Soul vocalist with jazz leanings. He was born Jan. 20, 1978 in Minneapolis. James says his main influences are John Coltrane, Marvin Gaye and Billie Holiday. He moved to New York City to study at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. He studied with legendary jazz drummer Chico Hamilton and pianist Junior Mance. James' big break came when he got the attention of BBC DJ Gilles Peterson and recorded two CDs for Peterson's Brownswood label. Like a lot of DJs, Peterson has a good ear and is usually ahead of the curve setting musical trends. So James' Brownswood recordings generated a lot of grass roots buzz in Neo Soul. Then he recorded the 2010 CD For All We Know with pianist Jef Neve for Impulse Records. This led to a contract with Blue Note Records probably encouraged by Robert Glasper who was already on Blue Note. The 2013 CD No Beginning No End was James' Blue Note debut. James writes and produces a lot of the songs with veteran session musicians Pino Palladino and Richard Spaven. He wrote Vanguard with Robert Glasper and The Robert Glasper Experiment is the band on this track. R & B singer songwriter Emily King appears on two songs and Moroccan singer Hindi Zahra appears on one song. James' latest CD While You Were Sleeping was released on June 2, 2014. Though Jose James could achieve mainstream success, he has enough of a fanbase that he doesn't need it. He is starting a European tour next week followed by a Japanese tour. I might check him out if he comes my way. Here's Jose James performing Vanguard at the 2013 Black Sea Jazz Festival in Batumi, Georgia.

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