José James is gearing up for his first album under Blue Note with the release of a new EP, titled ‘It’s All Over Your Body.’
The five-track collection represents a veritable mix of genres, with two funky releases, two remixes by DJ Spinna, and an acoustic session written and led by guitarist and songwriter Emily King.
I’ve always held James as one of the most distinctive voices in modern Jazz ever since he broke onto the scene with his 2008 debut release ‘The Dreamer.’ However, he came into his own on his 2010 Verve/Impulse debut ‘For All We Know.’ The Piano/Vocal duo album, for which he was joined by virtuoso Belgian pianist Jef Neve, left no doubt of James’ incredible vocal chops.
His voice falls into an unlikely and unoccupied space between styles and genres, paving the way for a supremely emotive voice that readily compliments established grooves regardless of genre, while also standing on its own not only in solo, but also in the moving silence left in the wake of his deep baritone.
The 34-year-old’s signing to Blue Note, while certainly no secret, was kept rather quiet. James was amongst Don Was‘ early signings to the label after taking on the role of Chief Creative Officer at the iconic label, having been quietly associated with the label since late April. The EP announcement marks the first official acknowledgement of James’ Blue Note connection, and by the looks of things they have no plans to let James fly under the radar again while his new album in on the horizon.
In addition to the EP, for one week only James’ single ‘Trouble’ from the EP will be available from iTunes for free (deal expired).
James’ debut album under Blue Note is titled ‘No Beginning No End,’ and is due for release January 22.
The album will feature bass legend Pino Palladino, pianist Robert Glapser, drummers Chris “Daddy” Dave and Richard Spaven, and singers Hindi Zahra and Emily King.
Speaking about the new album, James said: “‘No Beginning No End’ sums up how I feel about music right now… 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.”
Watch José James’ debut performance of ‘Trouble’ below: