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: Omar – ‘The Man’

Omar, also known as “the godfather of UK soul,” today releases his first album in seven years! Titled The Man, the project features Omar’s signature blend of jazz, soul, and funk along with appearances from Stuart Zender of Jamiroquai and bass virtuoso Pino Palladino.

Watch the video for the addictive title track and good luck trying to get this music out of your head. Nothing like a good Omar tune!

Enter our contest to win The Man.

Omar – “The Man” [MP3]
 

Purchase The Man on iTunes | Amazon

Facebook | Twitter | Official Site

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

Interview: Jose James on Blue Note Signing & 5/11 NYC Show

 

In anticipation of his show at Le Poisson Rouge (NYC) tomorrow and his recent signing to Blue Note, we caught up with the heart-melting José James to get the latest on some very exciting developments. After hearing more about what Jose has to say about No Beginning, No End as well as the LPR show – we’re just about losing it with excitement!

Details for the show are below. Also, enter our contest to win tickets to tomorrow’s show.

Giant Step: Congratulations on signing with Blue Note! How does it feel?

Jose James: It feels fantastic – it’s a dream come true. Blue Note is everyone’s favorite classic jazz label and it’s exciting to bring something fresh to the legacy.

GS: What can we expect on the new album? And what excites you most about this new project?

JJ: First of all, the new album features Pino Palladino – the legend! Truly an honor to work with him. Chris “Daddy” Dave, Robert Glapser, Hindi Zahra, Richard Spaven, Emily King – it’s a stellar cast. It’s a mix of soul, R&B, gospel, jazz, and singer-songwriter. It’s truly a deeper look into who I am as an artist, outside of just jazz. I co-wrote with many of the artists above, as well as Fink and Amp Fiddler. I feel this is a definitive album for me and so far my best work. It’s been two years in the making! Sonically it’s way ahead of my other albums and I have engineers Brian Bender and Russ Elevado to thank for that.

GS: When can we hear No Beginning, No End – when does it drop?!

JJ: Well I just signed, so now we’re doing photoshoots and planning videos. Definitely will drop some new music this fall – stay tuned at josejamesmusic.com for updates! In the meantime, I’m showcasing new material in my live shows and will start touring worldwide.

GS: What can folks look forward to at this show?

JJ: I got Taylor McFerrin with me – he’s so amazing. Emily King special guest, and a fantastic band: Takuya Kuroda on trumpet, Andy Hunter trombone, Samora Pinderhughes keys, Ben Williams bass, and Nate Smith on drums. We keep it funky and real soulful!

GS: Any other special news you’re able to share with Giant Step fans?

JJ: Look out for remixes and vinyl – this is the album you’ve been waiting for.

Event Details
José James with Special Guests, plus Taylor McFerrin

Friday, May 11, 2012
Doors 7pm

(Le) Poisson Rouge
158 Bleecker Street
New York, NY

Tickets: $15 advance / $20 door
Purchase tickets

Facebook | Twitter | Official Site