José James V
Artist / Band / Musician
Jazz / Soul / Indie
Brownswood / Traffic
José James is set to make his national TV debut on December 18 when the singer-songwriter will make an appearance on the TBS late-night show Conan. James will be performing "Trouble" from his forthcoming Blue Note Records debut, No Beginning No End, which will be released on January 22 and is currently available for pre-order on iTunes and Amazon.
While in Los Angeles, James will also be taping a live session for KCRW's Berkeley Street Sessions, an intimate concert series at Apogee's Berkeley Street Studio that has featured such artists as Ryan Adams, Death Cab for Cutie, Little Dragon, Janelle Monae, The Shins, Patti Smith, Regina Spektor, and St. Vincent. The session will air later on KCRW's signature music show Morning Becomes Eclectic. Watch www.facebook.com/josejamesmusic for a chance to win tickets to the exclusive invite-only taping on December 17.
James has also announced an album release show at the Highline Ballroom in New York City on January 23, as well as March 23 show at The Del Monte Speakeasy in Los Angeles. James will be presenting songs from No Beginning No End, an album that influential UK DJ Gilles Peterson has called "a landmark" likening it to "Smokey Robinson for the new generation."
"It's not nearly enough to say that a musician mixes jazz, soul and funk, because so much has been built around that intersection since the 1970s," wrote Ben Ratliff in The New York Times earlier this year. "The singer José James lives around that intersection too. He's a romantic baritone with a deep-funk band, stretching out songs, evoking both the '70s of Roberta Flack and Gil Scott-Heron and the '90s and oughts of J Dilla." Ratliff continued, "But Mr. James, who has revealed himself in stages over the years, is a very different kind of singer than D'Angelo. He's a little more acoustic singer-songwriter, a little more delicate. He's clearer, more disciplined and lower key; he can move you with silence and the pure strength of his vocal tone."
The Minneapolis-born, Brooklyn-based James is a musical omnivore whose career path has steadfastly followed its own rhyme and reason. He is an artist that resists being pigeonholed, equally at ease on stage with a jazz legend like McCoy Tyner as he is in the studio with electronica pioneer Flying Lotus.
No Beginning No End is a seamless musical experience that moves between different styles with remarkable fluidity, bound together by James' transcendent voice. Conceived, recorded and produced independently, the album is James' most personal statement yet and boasts collaborators including noted producer/bassist Pino Palladino; pianist/composer Robert Glasper; R&B singer/songwriter/guitarist Emily King; international French-Moroccan singing star Hindi Zahra; and the 2011 Thelonious Monk Competition winner pianist Kris Bowers.
"No Beginning No End sums up how I feel about music right now," says James. "I don't want to be confined to any particular style. I decided I didn't want to be considered a jazz singer anymore and that was really freeing. Once I realized that jazz singing is just something that I do and it's just a label, it freed me as an artist to just write without any boundaries."
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