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Jose James

Often referred to as a jazz singer for the hip-hop generation, New York City-based vocalist José James combines jazz, soul, drum'n'bass, and spoken word into his own unique brand of vocal jazz. While he states his main influences as John Coltrane, Marvin Gaye, and Billie Holiday, his sound on early 12" singles and in live performances brought to mind such icons of '70s jazz-soul as Terry Callier, and his music felt more like an update of the fluid crossover approach of Gil Scott-Heron, while also being distinctly his own.

James released his full-length debut album, Dreamer, in 2008 on Gilles Peterson's Brownswood imprint. The album ended up earning him accolades worldwide for its blend of jazz, electronic, soul, and pop styles. It placed at number 21 in Jazz Times' Top 50 for the year. Consequently, James played on prestigious stages all over the world, including those at the North Sea Jazz Festival, the Victoria Jazz Festival, Billboard Live Tokyo, Centro Cultural São Paolo, the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Central Park Summerstage in New York, and London's Royal Festival Hall. James made numerous guest performances on recordings by the Junior Mance Trio, Jazzanova, Nicola Conte, Basement Jaxx, and Chico Hamilton, to name a few.

He followed Dreamer with Blackmagic in February of 2010. In May of that year, he also made his Impulse! debut with For All We Know, a collection of standards performed in duet with Belgian pianist Jef Neve. He toured relentlessly for the next year and a half, often sitting in with jazz musicians as well as headlining his own dates in Europe, Japan, and the United States. He signed to Blue Note Records in 2012, and issued "Trouble," his first single for the label, in September of that year. His fourth album, No Beginning, No End, was released in January of 2013.

James began composing while on the road. New songs reflected a renewed interest in artists he listened to growing up (Nirvana, Radiohead) as well as newer ones who made an impression (Frank Ocean, James Blake). As a result, he cut While You Were Sleeping, a collection that reflected rock alongside R&B and jazz. It was released in June of 2014. ~ Matt Collar & Thom Jurek, Rovi
full bio

Comments

He was amazing at the HIGHLINE BALLROOM last night!
Talent
I saw him in Denver a couple of weeks ago. Wow. All I can say is wow. He is brilliant as well as the musicians who played w him. Richard Spaven RULED on drums that night. Amazing amazing talents. So refreshing to hear real musicians play live & be flawless! If you ever get an opportunity to see him live JUMP ON IT!
His first LP, the Dreamer is one of the best thing that happened in the last decade for me. But it's not here on pandora, u guys do have to ear it. The Dreamer LP vynil is $170 on discogs, just to say...
Saw him several times on show, rappin, scatin, singin... This dude is exceptionnal . He's a Coltrane lover also, and did this show Facing East, The Music of John Coltrane (copy that on utube) where he put lyrics on Trane's notes, with Jef Neve on Piano... pure bliss.
His first LP, the Dreamer is one of the best thing that happened in the last decade for me. But it's not here on pandora, u guys do have to ear it. The Dreamer LP vynil is $170 on discogs, just to say...
Saw him several times on show, rappin, scatin, singin... This dude is exceptionnal . He's a Coltrane lover also, and did this show Facing East, The Music of John Coltrane (copy that on utube) where he put lyrics on Trane's notes, with Jef Neve on Piano... pure bliss.
SMDH that I'm just hearing about this brother...He is DOPE!
Why an I JUST discovering this dude? Smh
godivaizme
"Heaven on the Ground" Love it
He is a major problem. His latest album is stellar work.
the coolest...ju s t saw him in NYC for his new album release!! No Beginning No End...
This dude is off the chain - Going to see him at Scullers jazz club
selfped... I like your comment : ). The thing is he has an instantly recognizable sound which is what you want if you're going to last. I Dig It.
This motherf**ker Jose James is a problem!
Every time he comes to town, I try to see him. Just an amazing balance between hip-hop and jazz and still incredibly humble. <3
Just heard new album title "For All We Know". WWII standard redone in today's timbre. Awesome. French jazz radio played it last nite.
I love this artist he is hella refreshing and makes me believe in romance and kindness to your fellow man! Love him and he's fine!!
He is one of the best of the "new" artists.
Some great music this man makes!
wgantjr
A smooth brother that sings with sweet harmony in his heart over beautifully crafted slick melodies. I love his music if you can't tell.

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