Interview: Jose James Checks In Before SummerStage on August 11

 

jose

Before hitting SummerStage this Sunday, August 11, Jose James catches up with us about his relationship to Giant Step, his growth as an artist, and what’s up next.

Giant Step: How would you say Giant Step most influenced your music and/or career?

Jose James: Wow. It’s been so great, thank you guys. The first show was at the Hiro Ballroom in NYC opening for the amazing Alice Russell. Then we started the Brownswood Sessions at Nublu with DJ Moni and Taylor McFerrin. Beautiful times! Giant Step really paved the way for what I do, connecting hip-hop, soul, jazz and DJ culture. The London connection, Gilles Peterson, all that. It’s a global movement to present quality music.

GS: We’ve been with you from the start and it’s been a pleasure to see you progress; how would you say No Beginning No End Jose has evolved from The Dreamer Jose?

JJ: Well, I’m more well traveled. That influences you tremendously. When I made The Dreamer I was still in school and had only been to a couple places outside the US – now I’ve toured in 40 countries and counting. I’m actually in Mexico right now. You meet people and see how your music is loved worldwide and that’s a powerful thing. Now I have worldwide family and a great relationship with my fans. It’s beautiful. Musically I’m more comfortable expressing all the worlds I love – soul, R&B, jazz, rock, blues, gospel, hip-hop – and you can hear that on the new album, and in the collaborations – Robert Glasper, Pino Palladino, Emily King, Hindi Zahra.

GS: And where do you see yourself going next? Any challenges/goals you’re keen on tackling?

JJ: I’d like to reconnect with electronic music. I just dropped an EP on Blue Note with remixes by FaltyDL, Oddisee, fLako, and Taylor McFerrin. I lived in London for a year and went to Plastic People, Fabric, Cargo and met great DJs and producers like Benji B, Benga and Skream, Floating Points. So I miss that and want to do more in that world. I’m working on a new album now for next year called Desire.

Read the rest of the interview after the jump

New Release: Jose James – ‘No Beginning No End’

 

The day is finally here for the new Jose James album, No Beginning No End. The work introduces Jose to a more universal audience through his graceful and astute plays with varied styles and genres on the album. He weaves together a sound that is so much more than just jazz and like Robert Glasper did with Black Radio, creates a bridge to help build a new musical frontier.

The star collaborators on the album help it sparkle and shine only more. Producer/bassist Pino Palladino, Glasper, Emily King, Hindi Zahra, and Kris Bowers are just a few of the talents that have helped transcend this project to its highest heights. In case you missed the NPR stream, definitely do kick off your shoes and take a little afternoon break for a listen – you won’t be disappointed.

New Yorkers! Tomorrow is going to be an unforgettable, magical night at the Highline Ballroom as Jose kicks off his US tour with an album release show. Find more details on our event page.

Also, read the recent New York Times article to get a closer look at Jose’s journey and the path that led him to where he is today.

Enter our contest to win No Beginning No End

Enter our contest to win tickets to the NYC album release show tomorrow!

Tour Dates
Jan. 23 – Highline Ballroom – New York, NY
Jan. 24 – Howard Theatre – Washington DC
Jan. 26 – Scullers – Boston, MA
Jan. 29 – Cedar Cultural Center – Minneapolis, MN
Jan. 30 – Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL
Feb. 10-Mar. 6 – Asia & Australia Tour
Mar. 8 – San Jose Jazz WinterFest – San Jose, CA
Mar. 9 – The New Parish – Oakland, CA
Mar. 10 – Brick & Mortar Music Hall – San Francisco, CA
Mar. 12 – The Del Monte Speakeasy – Los Angeles, CA

Purchase No Beginning No End on iTunes | Amazon

Facebook | Twitter | Official Site

New Release: Mark de Clive-Lowe – ‘NEXT Collective: The Mixtape’

 

Always the tastemaker extraordinaire, Mark de Clive-Lowe, presents us with a preview of an awesome project some great young jazz musicians have embarked on. NEXT Collective: The Mixtape introduces us to NEXT Collective and their upcoming album set to cover some of their favorite artists and ‘reinterpret them from a jazz perspective.’ Covered artists include Little Dragon, Jay Z and Kanye West, D’Angelo, N.E.R.D, Stereolab, Drake, Meshell Ndegeocello, and on.

Members of NEXT Collective include Logan Richardson (sax), Walter Smith III (sax), Matthew Stevens (guitar), Gerald Clayton (keys), Kris Bowers (keys), Ben Williams (bass), Jamire Williams (drums) and guest trumpeter Christian Scott.

Absolutely love it when worlds collide like this. Stream and download below!

Mark de Clive-Lowe presents NEXT Collective: The Mixtape [Download on Sendspace]

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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