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Reflection on Made for Love

By November 18, 2008November 19th, 2008Interviews, Music, Real Life, RIK.TV

Picture by Ouxu

José James is one of those artists I will never forget. You know like Coltrane, Billie Holiday, or Gil Scott Heron. I don’t forget them, each time I don’t really know what to listen to, I go back to them.
José James is becoming this kind of artist.

A vocalist.
A poet.
A musician.

José James – “Visions of Violet” Pruduced by Flying Lotus

Jazzanova featuring José James – “Little bird”

I never heard a young man with this kind of voice, not while i’m alive. With a deep and delicate voice, a possitive energy with a dark side.

I saw him for the first time in Paris, last year, for a free concert (Thank to my girl Lysiane). It was a small place, with a lot of people. Different kind of people, from the hip hop community, jazz, pop, soul. People I never saw before. He was there, next to Gilles Peterson (who discovered him), with this smile on his face. Always this smile. It’s just a pleasure to see a singer that doesn’t think he is too good to smile at people or speak to them naturaly. He went on stage, we were on the front with my friends, waiting for his music. And he started. This voice so delicate with his eyes close and his hands moving all over. His musicians are really good, he was with three of them, Steve Lyman (drums), Alexi David (Bass) and Gideon Van Gelder (piano). The relationship that he has with his musicians is really possitive, you can see it on stage, JJ has a truly respect for them.
It was one of my best show because it was without any superficiality, just a man standing on stage sharing his passion, sharing it with quality and love.

Nevertheless, it was the only time I saw him on stage. I’m looking to see him again and YOU should as well. A friend from Belgium, I didn’t talk to since a while, just email me. In his email he is telling me that he thought a lot about me today, because he saw José James and thanks me for make him discover this artist.

His album was release in January 2008. The Dreamer (a tribute to MLK). However, today he has a “new dream” (c) JJ. A new dream brought by Obama President.
He is actually working on his next album, “Reflection on Made for Love“.

If i’m writing all that right now, it’s because I just listened to this new song “Little Bird” from Jazzanova featuring José James. You should really listen to it. It’s really good.

Thank you for your music, JJ. I didn’t feel this way about an artist since… I can’t remember. Did I already feel this way?

Interview of JJ for Schememag by me


  • dave says:

    Right off the bat, I’ll admit I wasn’t that familiar with the music of Jazzanova, nor Jose James. Which may have worked in my favor because I gave the album a dedicated headphone listen with no real expectations. Having already been impressed with the first 4 tracks, Little Bird cued up and at the :45 mark….I was floored. I’m not really a “visual” person when it comes to music. It takes something special to elicit that from me. This song was one of those times. When those strings subtly come in at 1:32, I already had a vignette of the song content playing out in my mind with Jose’s voice guiding it along as narrator….. right to the end when they bring the strings back to fade out the “scene”.

    I think I replayed that song a good 15 times(adding more detail to the visuals each time) before I allowed myself to go on to the next track.

    Needless to say, I did a good amount of searching to find not only his album(s), but also any stand alone(Visions of Violet)or remixed tracks.

    So basically what I’m saying is….. yeah, I’m a fan now.

  • :) i’m glad !
    You can find a lot of song on his myspace, he changes them pretty often.

    For the album, on his website you can buy it :)

    And the next one he is working on.

    Something i forgot to say is that “The dreamer” was his first album. Classic.

    I don’t know where you live but if you are in nyc, you will be able to see him on december (check his myspace) and in Europe pretty much every month !

  • I can’t even begin to comprehend the love I feel towards you for introducing me to him.
    “Little bird” just blew my mind.
    I haven’t had chills and emotions listening to a new artist like this for years. What an incredibly special artiste.

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