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”
 

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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!

For All We Know: José James and Jef Neve on Impulse

We had a great show with José James this Saturday (footage coming) and luckily we can expect new music from José James very soon.

“A labor of love” is how José James describes his May 11, 2010, album For All We Know, his first American release and his first for the Impulse! label. A collaboration between James and noted Belgian pianist Jef Neve, the album finds the charismatic young singer applying his warm, rich baritone to a sterling assortment of jazz and pop, including classic jazz standards like “Tenderly,” “Body and Soul,” Billy Strayhorn’s “Lush Life” and George and Ira Gershwin’s “Embraceable You.”

Having already won the hearts of international audiences, José James is enthusiastic about the opportunity to make a splash in his home country. “It’s so exciting, and it’s a huge honor to be on Impulse; it’s Trane’s house. I’m very proud of this record, and I love being able to give back to the music that nurtured me.”

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

More Info & Streaming Tracks Here