Monday, May 3, 2010

Jose James - Blackmagic (2010)

Minneapolis-born José James is blessed with the sort of honeyed baritone that would have made him a jazz star in whichever decade he emerged from. If that has you primed for the sort of anodyne crooner that’s resident in cocktail bars worldwide, though, think again. James found his way into the genre through the loops of Daisy Age-era hip hop acts like De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest before discovering Ellington and Coltrane and enrolling on New York’s forward-thinking New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music Vocal Program.

Happily, his music reflects this, making a decent fist of reconciling the weighty history of his chosen idiom with a style firmly rooted in the modern.

by Louis Pattison (BBC music)

JJ on MySpace - Official - JJ on YouTube -

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