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| 24 January 2013 | Reply


Singer-songwriter José James‘ much-anticipated Blue Note debut, No Beginning No End, has been released this week to wide critical acclaim. No Beginning No End is currently the #1 album on the iTunes R&B/Soul chart. James has performed the album’s lead single “Trouble” on both CBS Late Show With David Letterman and TBS Conan, and he has also been featured in both The New York Times Arts & Leisure and on NPR All Things ConsideredNPR Music is also currently featuring the album as part of their First Listen series.


“José James’s cool and confident new album, No Beginning No End, sounds like the result of the black-pop continuum, jazz and soul and hip-hop and R&B, slow-cooked for more than 50 years.”The New York Times

No Beginning No End spotlights his songwriting skills and a unique musical persona that comfortably navigates between neo-soul, R&B, hip-hop and jazz… he confidently takes his listeners to unexpected places.”—Associated Press

“The vocalist José James makes utterly contemporary music… in his elegant, cerebral, seductive way… His fourth album skirts categories with ease, fitting in with current R&B innovators like Frank Ocean or Miguel, yet maintaining a strong awareness of a lineage that stretches from Ray Charles to Marvin Gaye to Lou Rawls to Maxwell…. Eclecticism is, in some ways, the very subject of No Beginning No End… James finds his own voice by paying deep attention to technique without compromising passion — sultry one moment, commanding the next, he holistically heals the rift between radio-friendly songcraft and virtuoso flair.”NPR Music

“…his honeyed baritone channels the spirits of Marvin Gaye and Donnie Hathaway on this assured set. But while he many sing old school soul vocals, the lean, supple backing is strictly modern… James’s new groove has big promise.”MOJO

“In case there was any doubt, No Beginning No End, José James’ stunning Blue Note debut, confirms his place among the soul brethren elite, alongside Marvin Gaye, Al Green and Bill Withers.”—JazzTimes

“His limitless ambitions are on full display on No Beginning No End… James is the soulful progeny of Gil Scott-Heron and Bobby Womack and kindred spirits with D’Angelo and Anthony Hamilton. Drawing from a bounty of influences, James skilfully melds contemporary jazz, R&B, and hip-hop.”Uptown Magazine

No Beginning, No End [is] a subtle affair, and a carefully composed one, too. But it roils with emotion, creativity and sex… the flow feels consistent and sure… He owns a rich, resounding baritone, deep enough in pitch and tone to anchor almost anything… Throughout, James retains his purpose and his spine, proving soft sounds can land hard.”New York Daily News

“[James] is one of jazz’s big, ascendant talents, with the sensibility and rhythmic dexterity of the most creative hip-hop M.C.’s.”New York Magazine

“…one of L.A.’s best concerts of the year… James [is a] genre hybridist who claims both b-boys and jazz purists in his fan base… The night’s set-list was largely composed of songs from James’ No Beginning No End… it’s a palette-stretching career high-water mark for the singer-songwriter… the bigger thrill was simply swimming in the conversation being held by the musicians onstage, by their use of pauses and silence, their bending and stretching of notes that echoed and gracefully flew around each other before melding together. It was a powerful reminder of the power — artistic and spiritual — of music that is not canned, that is not rigidly programmed to merely re-create studio sounds… the elder statesman gravitas of his voice, coupled with his amiable ’round-the-way demeanor make him a winningly singular presence in contemporary American music. Not just singular, but magnetic.”Los Angeles Times

José will kick off a short U.S. tour tonight January 23 in New York City with an album release show at the Highline Ballroom. Other stops along the first leg will include Washington DC, Boston, Chicago and Minneapolis. After a month-long tour in Asia and Australia throughout February, James will be returning to the U.S. in March for a run of West Coast dates that includes San Jose, Oakland, San Francisco, and a Los Angeles show at The Del Monte Speakeasy on March 12.


Jan. 23 – Highline Ballroom – New York, NY

Jan. 24 – Howard Theatre – Washington DC

Jan. 26 – Scullers – Boston, MA

Jan. 29 – Cedar Cultural Center – Minneapolis, MN

Jan. 30 – Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL

Feb. 10-Mar. 6 – Asia & Australia Tour

Mar. 8 – San Jose Jazz WinterFest – San Jose, CA

Mar. 9 – The New Parish – Oakland, CA

Mar. 10 – Brick & Mortar Music Hall – San Francisco, CA

Mar. 11 – Kuumbwa – Santa Cruz, CA

Mar. 12 – The Del Monte Speakeasy – Los Angeles, CA

The Minneapolis-born, Brooklyn-based James is a musical omnivore whose career path has steadfastly followed its own rhyme and reason. He is an artist that resists being pigeonholed, equally at ease on stage with a jazz legend like McCoy Tyner as he is in the studio with electronica pioneer Flying Lotus. Interview Magazine recently named José one of their 13 Faces of 2013, declaring him “The New Jazz Man” and praising his efforts to reconnect hip hop with jazz.

No Beginning No End is a seamless musical experience that moves between different styles with remarkable fluidity, bound together by James’ transcendent voice. Conceived, recorded and produced independently, the album is James’ most personal statement yet and boasts collaborators including noted producer/bassist Pino Palladino; pianist/composer Robert Glasper; R&B singer/songwriter/guitarist Emily King; international French-Moroccan singing star Hindi Zahra; and the Thelonious Monk Competition winner pianist Kris Bowers.

No Beginning No End sums up how I feel about music right now,” says James. “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.”

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ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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