Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

ALBUM REVIEW

José James: Lean On Me

Read "Lean On Me" reviewed by Franz A. Matzner

Already known for his crisp production values, astute musicianship and eclectic presentations, Jose James delivers again with his tribute to Bill Withers, Lean on Me. The album reaffirms James' signature attention to stylistic pastiche while further refining his thematic focus on the subtleties of human relationships. Here James' narcotic blend is simultaneously steeped in tradition and floats at the horizon of modernity. The beats penetrate with unabashed eroticism. James' voice coos with soul and cuts with the dirty ...

LIVE REVIEW

Lean On Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers @ NYC Winter Jazzfest

Read "Lean On Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers @ NYC Winter Jazzfest" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Lean On Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers Le Poisson Rouge NYC Winter Jazzfest New York, NY January 1, 2018 By the time José James took to the stage for his headlining slot on a quadruple-bill event that served as the second stand-alone concert in the 2018 NYC Winter Jazzfest schedule, three hours of music had already come and gone. Knower's electro-pop, complete with an expletive-laced introduction, ushered in the evening; the No ...

JAZZ NEAR ME

Sun and Stars at Montclair Jazz Festival

Read "Sun and Stars at Montclair Jazz Festival" reviewed by Gloria Krolak

At the 2015 Montclair Jazz Festival, the sun broiled and the stars sparkled over some 6,000 jazz fans, that number announced by emcee Gary Walker, a popular WBGO radio on-air personality. Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor S. Epatha Merkerson, best known for her 17 seasons as Lieutenant Van Buren on NBC's “Law and Order," was back as the festival's Mistress of Ceremonies. The annual one-day event, free to all comers, was held at Nishuane Park and produced by the ...

ALBUM REVIEW

José James: Yesterday I Had the Blues: The Music of Billie Holiday

Read "Yesterday I Had the Blues: The Music of Billie Holiday" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

There are many reasons why singer Billie Holiday is so admired--her captivating beauty, crafted phrasing, and the singular way she imbued emotion through each note. Yet the jazz legend known as “Lady Day" not only sung the blues, she lived it. In a storied life filled with heartaches, hardships and personal demons that included a long struggle with substance abuse, she eloquently articulated and expressed many of those sentiments in albums such as Lady Sings the Blues (1956, Verve) and ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Jose James: While You Were Sleeping

Read "While You Were Sleeping" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

Jazz has always had a soft spot for pop music. Icons like trumpeter Louis Armstrong blessed the masses with his positivity and raspy voice in 1967's “What a Wonderful World" and saxophonist John Coltrane transformed Rodgers and Hammerstein's 1960 musical smash “My Favorite Things" into a swinging affair. Fast forward to 2014 as singer, songwriter and producer Jose James continues the practice with a fine rendition of 1972's “Simply Beautiful" by the one-time prince of R&B, vocalist Al Green.

LIVE REVIEW

Jose James at Dazzle

Read "Jose James at Dazzle" reviewed by Geoff Anderson

Jose James Dazzle Denver, CO April 23, 2014 Al Green, Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers, Gil Scott-Heron. Mix them together, bring them into the 21st Century and you end up with something that sounds a lot like Jose James. Wednesday night at Dazzle, 36-year-old James brought his band and updated soul sound to Denver. He also brought along a plethora of other influences like R&B, jazz, funk, some rock and a touch of hip hop. ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Jose James: No Begining No End

Read "No Begining No End" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

With the panache of Marvin Gaye and the smoothness of neo-soul artist D'Angelo, singer José James has been dubbed the “Smokey Robinson for the new generation." That's some heavy but deserving press as James' previous releases- -2010's Blackmagic and 2008's The Dreamer (both on Brownswood Records)--bear witness. With his Blue Note debut, No Beginning No End's decidedly marketed project eschews the limitations of James being labeled just a “jazz singer" with a recording that swirls together jazz, hip hop, R&B, ...


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