12 Songs, 54 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Mastered for iTunes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Mastered for iTunes
TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
13 Ratings
13 Ratings
atrane3

Newport

Saw Jose and the band recently at Newport Jazz festival. They were working this material and brought a pretty stuffy crowd to its feet. Great voice, tight band, premium material from the great Mr Withers. Can’t miss.

Skrw2011

Amazing Artist

I just recently started to listen to Jose James. His journey thru many genres of music all with confidence make him a man of all seasons. Rooted well in jazz and yet I just beamed inner happiness of younger years gone by with these two leads on his upcoming album, so excited. You are a true artist Mr.James

BobRum

A tribute full of integrity and respect

When I heard the preview of Use Me on iTunes I wasn't all that excited about this album. Then I saw Jose James at the Monterey Jazz Festival last week and loved every minute of his set. Jose spoke to the crowd about a special meeting with Bill Withers and Don Was, and how hard it was to reduce the number of tracks he wanted to record from 60 to 12. He spoke with immense respect and humility about his hero. The music itself is better live: Jose has a great band, and of course he spins the songs out vocally much more when he is on stage. Nonetheless, the CD captures some of the charm of his live performance and is well worth the $9.99! Long live the music of Bill Withers and good luck to Mr. James.

About José James

Often referred to as a jazz singer for the hip-hop generation, New York City-based vocalist José James has combined jazz, soul, drum'n'bass, and spoken word into his unique brand of vocal jazz. While he states his main influences as John Coltrane, Marvin Gaye, and Billie Holiday, his sound on early 12" singles and in live performances brought to mind such icons of '70s soul-jazz as Terry Callier, and his music felt more like an update of the fluid crossover approach of Gil Scott-Heron, while also being distinctly his own.

James released his full-length debut album, Dreamer, in 2008 on Gilles Peterson's Brownswood imprint. The album ended up earning him accolades worldwide for its blend of jazz, electronic, soul, and pop styles. It placed at number 21 in Jazz Times' Top 50 for the year. Consequently, James played on prestigious stages all over the world, including those at the North Sea Jazz Festival, the Victoria Jazz Festival, Billboard Live Tokyo, Centro Cultural São Paolo, the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Central Park Summerstage in New York, and London's Royal Festival Hall. James made numerous guest appearances on recordings by the Junior Mance Trio, Jazzanova, Nicola Conte, Basement Jaxx, and Chico Hamilton, to name a few.

He followed Dreamer with Blackmagic in February of 2010. In May of that year, he also made his Impulse! debut with For All We Know, a collection of standards performed in duet with Belgian pianist Jef Neve. He toured relentlessly for the next year-and-a-half, often sitting in with jazz musicians as well as headlining his own dates in Europe, Japan, and the United States. He signed to Blue Note Records in 2012, and issued "Trouble," his first single for the label, in September of that year. His fourth album, No Beginning, No End, was released in January of 2013.

James began composing while on the road. New songs reflected a renewed interest in artists he listened to growing up (Nirvana, Radiohead) as well as newer ones who made an impression (Frank Ocean, James Blake). As a result, he cut While You Were Sleeping, a collection that reflected rock alongside R&B and jazz. It was released in June of 2014.

In commemoration of Billie Holiday's 100th birthday, the singer he claimed -- from the very beginning of his career -- as his "musical mother," James recorded nine songs written or associated with her. He fronted a band that included pianist Jason Moran, bassist John Patitucci, and drummer Eric Harland. Yesterday I Had the Blues was produced by Blue Note label-head Don Was and released in March of 2015. Two years later, he appeared in the film Fifty Shades Darker and continued to confound expectations with his fourth Blue Note album, Love in a Time of Madness, on which he embraced commercial R&B sounds. ~ Matt Collar & Thom Jurek

HOMETOWN
Minneapolis, MN
GENRE
Jazz
BORN
January 20, 1978

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