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Thursday, Jan 28 2010 | 16:59 Buy this now at GoodToGo (B2B)

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 José’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 José’s stature and raw talent within the worldwide jazz community.

Since “The Dreamer” José has performed in maybe 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 New York to Tokyo is quickly bridged by music, as the track “Promise In Love” with DJ Mitsu The Beats of Jazzy Sport aptly demonstrates. José is keen to stress the way that this global community has shaped his new album “Blackmagic”: “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 (big up Jazzanova!), LA (yes I still need to come out I know!! I hear you too DC!), Rotterdam (North Sea Jazz Festival), 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 – thank you, man.” 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” or blessing Moodymann’s retro jazz-funk groove “Detroit Loveletter”.

José announced his comeback with a killer 12″ featuring “Blackmagic” remixes from the hotly-tipped Joy Orbison and dubstep innovator Untold. An EP drops in January featuring production from the aforementioned FlyLo, Moodymann, DJ Mitsu The Beats and Taylor McFerrin before the full album is released in the beginning of February.


01. Code
02. Touch
03. Lay You Down
04. Promise In Love
05. Warrior
06. Made For Love
07. Save Your Love For Me
08. The Greater Good
09. Blackmagic
10. Detroit Loveletter
11. Love Conversation feat. Jordana de Lovely
12. Beauty
13. No Tellin

The album José JamesBlackmagic” (Brownswood) is going to be released February 5, 2010.

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