Alright, I have no idea how we have NOT featured José James yet! But – in anticipation of his upcoming release “While You Were Sleeping” we decided to introduce you to some of our favorites from his widely acclaimed album “No Beginning No End“, a beautiful mix of jazzy R&B/Soul with a D’Angelo feel to it.
Minneapolis born and New York City based José James has released four albums so far, the past two through Blue Note Records. His upcoming album, so he says, “is a synthesis of everything I love about music, from contemporary artists like Frank Ocean, James Blake, and Junip to groundbreaking artists I grew up with like Nirvana, Radiohead, and Madlib.”
Make sure to download his music and enjoy our 6-track-playlist including two beautiful duets with the amazing Emily King and a nice remix of “It’s All Over Your Body“. How could you NOT like this? Too good…
Update: We went to see José James at Highline Ballroom in NY June 12th, 2014. Read the insightful review by our music lover, critic and writer Mocha Carter:
The opening act was Julia Easterlin, performing her own acoustic version of Britney Spears’ “Toxic”, and killing it, when I arrived. I smiled as she swayed and rocked and sang. It was a great version that made me want to run to a studio to record an acoustic cover to ANYTHING. lol
She and the entire band left the stage and Kris Bowers (keys) did a quick loop performance on his keyboard.
The band returned to the stage and the crowd went wild as he came to the stage. Dressed simply in faded, dark jeans, a black tee and a black jean jacket, his eyes hidden behind dark shades, he smiled revealing a dimple in his right cheek. The patch of white hair a stark contrast to all the black he wore.
“What’s up New York!?” He chuckled as the crowd screamed. I was only familiar with one song by Jose James “Come to my Door“, which I’m pretty sure is actually written by NY Native, Emily King. I’ll be honest, I really didn’t know what to expect.
He was good but I wasn’t blown away. His voice was nice but didn’t give me chills. I found he lacked much of a range and his voice sounded exactly the same in each song.
He brought out his label mate, trumpeter and composer, Takuya Kuroda who was fantastic. They performed a version of “Sunshine” from Kuroda’s album “Rising Sun.” The lights dimmed and the guitar played. I had to contain my groupie screams. It was amazing.
The highlight for me was absolutely, Brad Allen Williams, the guitar player. With his wild blond hair that looked like he just rolled out of bed, burgundy, valour, bell bottoms, and glasses.. he looked more like Shaggy from “Scooby doo” than a musician… He was amaaaazing!! Much of the time I found myself lost watching him, grinning and screaming, totally forgetting Jose was even singing.
There were a couple of songs where he just let it rip and I was memorized.
Then came the solos by each band member.
Solomon Dorsey the bass player let his vocals shine as he harmonized with his bass.
For the closing number he brought out vocalist, Becca Stevens.
I don’t know who she is but her voice was pure and sweet a perfect ending to a great show.
He thanked New York again as he left the stage leaving the band to close out the show.
As the crowd screamed they returned to the stage and performed crowd favorite, “Trouble.”
While I wasn’t completely blown away by the headliner, the band and guests made it a worthwhile show and I’d probably go to see him again.
– Mocha Carter –