Our friends at AMG have dubbed Gregory Porter to be "up there with José James," as far as male vocalists in the amorphous genre called Jazz. You know how we feel about José James, and we're more than grateful to hear all this new male vocal talent.
Download the song "Pretty" from his album Water. "Love makes us all crazy," he says of this song. A soulful tribute to a woman from Porter's past, "Pretty" is an understated ensemble piece that is bolstered by the alto sax work of Yoske Sato.
Gregory Porter - "Pretty" from Water [MP3]
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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.
"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."
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"