All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...


Jose James: While You Were Sleeping

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
Track review of "Simply Beautiful"

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.

James is a singer with a commanding presence, his tenor like velvet with exceptional range that includes folk, ethnic, and avant-soul with diverse shades and colors in his fifth album While You Were Sleeping. His boldness to cover Al Green's hit song is no small feat but he performs with empathy and expressiveness delivering a cover that still possesses much, if not all of Green's alluring magic. Nonetheless, James is a stylist and shapes the evocative lyrics with the aid of guitarist Brad Allen Williams's agile chords and Kris Bowers's organ undercurrents.

The key here through, is not only the song's classic melody, but also the performance by fellow Blue Note label mate/ trumpeter Takuya Kuroda who provides a spellbinding and lengthy solo that eddies and flows with James's smoky voice.

Track Listing: Simply Beautiful.

Personnel: Jose James: vocals; Kris Bowers: organ; Solomon Dorsey: bass; Takuya Kuroda: trumpet; Brad Allen Williams: guitar; Richard Spaven: drums.

Title: While You Were Sleeping | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Blue Note Records


Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Lala Belu CD/LP/Track Review
Lala Belu
by Chris May
Published: March 23, 2018
Read All Melody CD/LP/Track Review
All Melody
by Phil Barnes
Published: March 23, 2018
Read The Future is Female CD/LP/Track Review
The Future is Female
by Paul Rauch
Published: March 23, 2018
Read Hunters & Scavengers CD/LP/Track Review
Hunters & Scavengers
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 23, 2018
Read Fill Up Your Lungs and Bellow CD/LP/Track Review
Fill Up Your Lungs and Bellow
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 22, 2018
Read Transatlantic CD/LP/Track Review
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 22, 2018
Read "50" CD/LP/Track Review 50
by Doug Collette
Published: July 22, 2017
Read "When The Birds Leave" CD/LP/Track Review When The Birds Leave
by Don Phipps
Published: March 1, 2018
Read "Passin' Thru" CD/LP/Track Review Passin' Thru
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 29, 2017
Read "Tales From Under" CD/LP/Track Review Tales From Under
by James Nadal
Published: July 5, 2017
Read "The Art Pepper Quartet" CD/LP/Track Review The Art Pepper Quartet
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 7, 2017
Read "Falling Forward" CD/LP/Track Review Falling Forward
by James Nadal
Published: July 27, 2017