Listen | José James :: ‘No Beginning No End’
This week, jazz artist José James released his new album ‘No Begining No End’. As a follow-up to “Black Magic”, his listeners who vary in genre from classic jazz to hip-hop to various indie sub-groups are dazzled once again. Known for capturing the lavish and sultry aspects of his voice that classically trained artists tends to lose, James impresses upon his audience an even more clear picture of who he is as a jazz singer and what he brings to the table. His independent, indigo and sexy appeal has lost nothing as his popularity soars to new heights, which is rare indeed.
“No Beginning No End sums up how I feel about music right now,” says José James of his Blue Note Records debut. “I don’t want to be confined to any particular style. I decided I didn’t want to be considered a jazz singer anymore and that was really freeing. Once I realized that jazz singing is just something that I do and it’s just a label, it freed me as an artist to just write without any boundaries.”
‘No Beginning No End’ is a seamless musical experience that moves between different styles with remarkable fluidity, bound together by James’ transcendent voice. It marks a new chapter in the artistic journey of the 33-year-old singer/songwriter. Conceived, recorded and produced independently without any recording contract, the album is his most personal statement yet.
Along the way, he recruited a mighty team of collaborators that include noted producer/bassist Pino Palladino; pianist/composer and fellow Blue Note artist Robert Glasper; R&B singer/songwriter/guitarist Emily King; international French-Moroccan singing star Hindi Zahra; and the 2011 Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition winner Kris Bowers. “I feel like this is my first album as an artist,” James says, “This is the first time in which there were no label, no A&R – nothing but myself and my relationship and history with my music.” And just as much as he fell in love with making this album, so did we.