Interview: Gilles Peterson Talks New Projects, Radio 6, & NYC Night @ LPR on 10/25

 

October 25 will mark another unforgettable NYC night with the return of Gilles Peterson to NYC! We checked in with the legendary wearer of many hats before the much anticipated gig. More details on the event after the jump. Dig into the interview below!

Giant Step: How’s the transition been going moving from BBC Radio 1 over to Radio 6? How’s the new experience?

Gilles Peterson: Apart from missing my Saturday afternoons watching my team (the mighty ArsenalFC) play its been a perfect transition for me. Still being on the BBC network and in particular on a network that ‘gets’ what I do is special. I really appreciate the freedom I’ve always had as a broadcaster, especially when you see what little else in radio there is about. being able to play music as diverse as Philip Cohran or Roland Kirk alongside Daphne and Angel Haze is a great place to be and I appreciate every minute!

GS: Looks like you’ve got a lot going on with the festival circuit. Any highlights to share?

GP: The festival in France that I’ve been hosting for the last seven years has definitely become my favourite time of the year. It takes place over a week every July in the town of Sete near Montpellier in the south of France and has become a magnet for a great multinational crowd of music fans. The Portico Quartet and Machinedrum were particular highs at this year’s event.

GS: We see that you recently released the Black Jazz Radio in Japan. Can you tell us more about the idea behind that project and when we can expect it in the US?

GP: To be asked to make a compilation album of the legendary black jazz catalogue was something I couldn’t turn down. I have all their releases from the Doug and Jean Carne stuff to the Calvin Keys and Rudolph Johnson albums. It’s a label a little like Impulse or Strata East – conscious Jazz music. In fact, you should check the book Freedom Rhythm and Sound I released 2 years ago with Stuart Baker from Soul Jazz to see how passionate I am about this music! Black Jazz Radio should be in stores now – in fact, it’s been out in Japan since before the summer – I was quite surprised to see it already in the record shops of Tokyo when I was there recently.

Rest of the interview and event details after the jump

José James on “Lush Life”

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“Lush Life,” the jazz standard written by Billy Strayhorn and famously recorded by Johnny Hartman with John Coltrane is an iconic song for most jazz fans. In this video, the new vocal sensation José James discusses the importance of the song, from its original conception (by Billy Strayhorn in his teens) to its forward-moving musical nature.

After the explanation by James, treat yourself to his sublime version of “Lush Life,” performed live with Belgian pianist Jef Neve. The song comes from their album on Impulse!, For All We Know, available in stores now.

For All We Know on iTunes | Amazon

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For All We Know by José James & Jef Neve in Stores Now

“This record is all about capturing the moment,” says Minneapolis-born, London-based singer José James of his new nine-track release, For All We Know. A collaboration between James and noted Belgian pianist Jef Neve, the album finds the charismatic young vocalist applying his warm, rich baritone to a sterling assortment of timeless jazz and pop standards. The result is an eloquently spare, effortlessly expressive set. James’ vivid performances, paired with the intimate duo format, lend new emotional depth to such beloved classics as “Gee Baby, Ain’t I Good To You,” “Tenderly,” “Body and Soul,” Billy Strayhorn’s “Lush Life” and George and Ira Gershwin’s “Embraceable You.”

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Win a Signed Copy of José James & Jef Neve: For All We Know

We’re really excited about this José James & Jef Neve joint coming soon on Impulse! Enter here to win a signed copy of the CD. The standards are a bit of a departure from the usual José James stuff we’re used to, but this album is surely going to end up in our perfect jazz collections.

José James & Jef Neve – “Gee Baby, Ain’t I Good to You”
 

More Info & Streaming Tracks Here

Photos of José James at Hiro Ballroom, NYC

Our show with José James this weekend was a great success. José and his band were on point with their blend of classic jazz structures, experimental sounds and hip hop rhythms. Jordana de Lovely sang background vocals, providing a nice feminine counterpart to José’s smooth deep voice.

Between songs, José made sure to thank his major influences and collaborators, including Flying Lotus and Taylor McFerrin. He noted Nancy Wilson, Dinah Washington (and many more) after his version of “Save Your Love For Me,” and expressed his dedication to Billy Strayhorn before launching into “Lush Life.”  Overall, José and the band wowed the audience with various tracks from Blackmagic and a couple tracks off his upcoming project with Jef Neve on Impulse, For All We Know.

Enjoy the photos, and a big thank you to those of you who came out!