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José James|For All We Know

For All We Know

Jose James

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Fans of vocalist José James have hardly had time to catch their breath in 2010. His new-school R&B album Blackmagic (a sophomore effort released in March 2010 on Gilles Peterson's Brownswood imprint) was still being fired by DJs in clubs and on European and Japanese radio, while garnering acclaim globally. Barely two months later, James popped this set out in May. For All We Know is a duet recording with Belgian jazz pianist Jef Neve. It's James' first album to be released in the United States -- his home country -- and the first of newly recorded material on Impulse! Records in six years. Musically, this set couldn’t be more different from his two preceding offerings. There are no star productions by Flying Lotus, Nicola Conte, Moodymann, or Jazzanova this time out. This intimate nine-track collection of standards from the Great American Songbook was produced by the duo who made it. All but one cut was recorded in a single six-hour session, and the majority of these performances are first takes. This is a “pure” jazz recording. James and Neve pull out heavy hitters from the repertoire, "Autumn in New York," the Gershwins' "Embraceable You," "Body and Soul," and Duke Ellington's "Just Squeeze Me" among them. James -- who studied and played with jazz greats Chico Hamilton and Junior Mance -- is not overly reverent, but he is disciplined as well as innovative. Neve’s pianism pushes that envelope a little further still. His light touch, elegant harmonics, and subtly innovative fills and solos give James all the support and room he needs. Listen to this version of Billy Strayhorn's "Lush Life." At over seven minutes, its graceful melody is taken deeply inside his rich, warm, sometimes arid baritone (the same way John Coltrane took it inside his horn -- this tune is a tribute to him) and brought out again as a compact universe of mystery, imagination, and marvelously diverse ethereal textures with Neve creating enough intuitive space around it to make it possible. The duo’s reading of "When I Fall in Love" is downright moving. It holds no trace of the nostalgia usually associated with its many interpretations. James is able to express the deep yearning in the lyric and melody without over-emoting. For jazz fans who’ve not heard him, this album is a very new turn on some well-worn music by a major talent. For James' fans -- who all knew he could sing like this -- For All We Know adds a different kind of depth and dimension to his established recorded oeuvre thus far.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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For All We Know

José James

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1
Autumn In New York
José James
00:03:20

Vernon Duke, ComposerLyricist - Jose James, Producer, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jef Neve, Producer, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2010 The Verve Music Group, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

2
Embraceable You
Jef Neve
00:06:15

George Gershwin, Composer - Ira Gershwin, Author - Jef Neve, MainArtist

℗ 2010 The Verve Music Group, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

3
Gee Baby, Ain't I Good To You
Jef Neve
00:05:19

Andy Razaf, ComposerLyricist - Don Redman, ComposerLyricist - Jef Neve, MainArtist

℗ 2010 The Verve Music Group, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

4
Body And Soul
Jef Neve
00:06:26

Edward Heyman, ComposerLyricist - Frank Eyton, ComposerLyricist - Robert Sour, ComposerLyricist - John W. Green, ComposerLyricist - Jef Neve, MainArtist

℗ 2010 The Verve Music Group, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

5
When I Fall In Love
José James
00:05:14

Victor Popular Young, ComposerLyricist - GENE PAUL, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Edward Heyman, ComposerLyricist - Scott Jacoby, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Jose James, Producer, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jef Neve, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alex Bilowitz, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2010 The Verve Music Group, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

6
Tenderly
José James
00:07:25

Jack Lawrence, ComposerLyricist - WALTER GROSS, ComposerLyricist - Jose James, MainArtist - Jef Neve, MainArtist

℗ 2010 The Verve Music Group, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

7
Just Squeeze Me
Jef Neve
00:04:15

Duke Ellington, ComposerLyricist - Jef Neve, MainArtist - Lee Otho Gaines, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2010 The Verve Music Group, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

8
Lush Life
Jef Neve
00:07:28

Billy Strayhorn, ComposerLyricist - Jef Neve, MainArtist

℗ 2010 The Verve Music Group, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

9
For All We Know
Jef Neve
00:05:12

Sam M. Lewis, ComposerLyricist - J. Fred Coots, ComposerLyricist - Jef Neve, MainArtist

℗ 2010 The Verve Music Group, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

Album Description

Fans of vocalist José James have hardly had time to catch their breath in 2010. His new-school R&B album Blackmagic (a sophomore effort released in March 2010 on Gilles Peterson's Brownswood imprint) was still being fired by DJs in clubs and on European and Japanese radio, while garnering acclaim globally. Barely two months later, James popped this set out in May. For All We Know is a duet recording with Belgian jazz pianist Jef Neve. It's James' first album to be released in the United States -- his home country -- and the first of newly recorded material on Impulse! Records in six years. Musically, this set couldn’t be more different from his two preceding offerings. There are no star productions by Flying Lotus, Nicola Conte, Moodymann, or Jazzanova this time out. This intimate nine-track collection of standards from the Great American Songbook was produced by the duo who made it. All but one cut was recorded in a single six-hour session, and the majority of these performances are first takes. This is a “pure” jazz recording. James and Neve pull out heavy hitters from the repertoire, "Autumn in New York," the Gershwins' "Embraceable You," "Body and Soul," and Duke Ellington's "Just Squeeze Me" among them. James -- who studied and played with jazz greats Chico Hamilton and Junior Mance -- is not overly reverent, but he is disciplined as well as innovative. Neve’s pianism pushes that envelope a little further still. His light touch, elegant harmonics, and subtly innovative fills and solos give James all the support and room he needs. Listen to this version of Billy Strayhorn's "Lush Life." At over seven minutes, its graceful melody is taken deeply inside his rich, warm, sometimes arid baritone (the same way John Coltrane took it inside his horn -- this tune is a tribute to him) and brought out again as a compact universe of mystery, imagination, and marvelously diverse ethereal textures with Neve creating enough intuitive space around it to make it possible. The duo’s reading of "When I Fall in Love" is downright moving. It holds no trace of the nostalgia usually associated with its many interpretations. James is able to express the deep yearning in the lyric and melody without over-emoting. For jazz fans who’ve not heard him, this album is a very new turn on some well-worn music by a major talent. For James' fans -- who all knew he could sing like this -- For All We Know adds a different kind of depth and dimension to his established recorded oeuvre thus far.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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