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José James: Love in a Time of Madness (Blue Note)

The press release for José James’ Love in a Time of Madness, his seventh album and fourth for Blue Note, posits, “James is reborn as a powerful voice in contemporary R&B.” Fair enough, though James has, since his emergence a decade ago, always ranked among the most protean of musicians, continually blurring the lines between … Read More “José James: Love in a Time of Madness (Blue Note)”

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

Once in a great while there comes along an album that you know at first spin is one for the ages. José James’ Yesterday I Had the Blues, his triumphant homage to Billie Holiday at her centenary, numbers among that precious ilk. In the liner notes James says he discovered Holiday in his teens and … Read More “Jose James: Yesterday I Had the Blues: The Music of Billie Holiday”

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Jose James: While You Were Sleeping

On his fifth studio album, inveterate genre-blurrer José James again travels in dynamic new directions. This is obvious just two seconds into the first track, “Angel,” as guitarist Brad Allen Williams unleashes an opening riff that isn’t jazz, isn’t soul, but pure, blazing rock. James, wading through a storm cloud shaped by Williams and Solomon … Read More “Jose James: While You Were Sleeping”

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