18

Jose James: While You Were Sleeping

Mark F. Turner By

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

Jose James: While You Were Sleeping 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


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Screen Sounds CD/LP/Track Review Screen Sounds
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Rediscovered Ellington CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 20, 2017
Read The Bug CD/LP/Track Review The Bug
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Sing Me Some Cry CD/LP/Track Review Sing Me Some Cry
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Masters In Bordeaux CD/LP/Track Review Masters In Bordeaux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 19, 2017
Read On Parade In Parede CD/LP/Track Review On Parade In Parede
by John Sharpe
Published: August 19, 2017
Read "Conditions" CD/LP/Track Review Conditions
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 16, 2016
Read "2-Man Jazz Band" CD/LP/Track Review 2-Man Jazz Band
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 27, 2016
Read "E.S.T. Symphony" CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Trip" CD/LP/Track Review Trip
by James Nadal
Published: August 1, 2017
Read "Shifting Borders" CD/LP/Track Review Shifting Borders
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 5, 2017
Read "Binary & Mysteries of the Deep" CD/LP/Track Review Binary & Mysteries of the Deep
by Troy Dostert
Published: October 20, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.