José James – All Saints Basement Sessions (2011)

I’ve been following José James since his collaboration with Jazzanova on their 2008 masterpiece Of All The Things. So when I see him perform anything I’m pretty much in awe. He has an elegance and power that’s brilliantly understated and serves to make him one of the most incredible jazz artists of the new school.

More than just a lovely performance, James gives his audience perspective, engaging everyone in the room into either stunned silence or unparalleled adoration. His performance at London’s All Saints, in one of their legendary Basement Sessions, is pure magic, a simplistic approach to James’s smooth dance into jazz. He takes the best of the genre and melds it with some of the most beautiful musical improvisation. He’s not one for flashy shows of extravagance, rather this session shows that he takes his time, giving the audience something they can feel for hours after they’ve left his presence.

One of James’s newest offerings, “Trouble”, has burned up iTunes and garnered him some much deserved attention. His performance at All Saints cemented him as a man of unique talent and depth the likes of which I’ve sorely missed in music nowadays.


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