José James: bringing future to the past

When I first listened to José James, I knew he had a great future as a singer. The dreamer (2008), his sophomore album, gained him recognition and positioned him as an impressive jazz artist to be looked at. On that record, James sang jazz tunes with a contemporary approach that many dared to call hip-hop or R&B -just for labels sake. It wasn't an ordinary contemporary jazz, indeed. It was something else. If you now listen to Blackmagic (2010), his most recent work, you can now confirm that hypothesis in its entirety. In this album, his turn to an even more modern music is clearly more evident. (He sings over a beat produced by dubstep genius Flying Lotus, just to give you an example.) But he also manages to still sound jazzy, though. His voice remains flawless over this new sound. I admit that, when I started to listen to Blackmagic, I kinda missed the style of his previous record, but when I was about the fourth track, I could understand this new bet. When you listen to Blackmagic, you will definitely applaud his -not so- hidden intentions.

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