José James is an incredible interpreter.
Sure, he's a highly talented songwriter - just listen to his records to find out a little more on that - but his juxtaposition of jazz, soul, and other elements allow him to completely re-cast the American songbook.
New album 'Lean On Me' is out now on Blue Note, and the iconic jazz label is a suitably grand hub for the vocalist's latest gesture.
A full salute to Bill Withers, it initially began as a touring project before José James decided to take that energy into the studio.
He comments: “I didn't want to put hip-hop beats under his music or deconstruct it with 10-minute bebop solos. There was only one right move here: show up with a killer band, run the tape, capture the vibe. We just played the songs.”
'Lovely Day' is one of Bill Withers' most loved songs, and in the hands of José James it becomes a joyous salute to life's beautiful moments, and also to Withers himself.
Lalah Hathaway guests, with the two re-uniting for a full video shoot. We've got first play, and it epitomises José James' innate charisma.
Tune in below.
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