José James – Blackmagic


Born in Minneapolis, MN, José was exposed at an early age to the Chicago and Detroit-based Black Arts and AACM musical performance culture by performance poet Louis Alemayehu, pianist and composer Carei Thomas, multi-instrumentalist Douglas Ewart, and saxophonist Donald Washington. This led to deeper explorations of the music of John and Alice Coltrane, Leon Thomas, and Betty Carter, as well as the soulful blues of Joe Williams and Marvin Gaye. Connecting this to the contemporary writing and jazz/soul samples of A Tribe Called Quest, Digable Planets, the Pharcyde, and Ice Cube, José began writing his own lyrics to solos by John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, and Miles Davis.

Upon relocating to New York City José studied at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music Vocal Program under the guidance of Junior Mance, Chico Hamilton, and Janet Lawson, expanding his conception into the original compositions that became his highly-acclaimed 2008 debut album, “The Dreamer” – voted 21 Best Jazz Album of 2008 in JazzTimes Magazine Critics Poll.

As a recording artist and guest vocalist José has worked with Junior Mance, Chico Hamilton, Gilles Peterson, Bassment Jaxx, Nicola Conte, Toshio Matsuura, Elan Mehler, The Heritage Orchestra, SOIL & “PIMP” SESSIONS, Jazzanova, Flying Lotus, Christian McBride, J.A.M., Robert Mitchell, Jazzy Sport and Simbad.

little preview:


01. Code (prod. by Flying Lotus)
02. Touch
03. Lay you down (prod. by BILO)
04. Promise in love (prod. by DJ Mitsu the Beats)
05. Warrior
06. Made for love (prod. by Flying Lotus)
07. Save your love for me
08. The greater good
09. Blackmagic (prod. by Flying Lotus)
10. Detroit loveletter (prod. by Moodymann)
11. Love conversation feat. Jordana de Lovely (prod. by Taylor McFerrin)
12. Beauty
13. No tellin’ (I need you)
14. Bonus Track

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One Response to “José James – Blackmagic”

  1. Cheers for this excellent article. I look forward more of your writing on this topic sometime soon. Cheers again

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