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Blackmagic [Import]

José JamesAudio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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MP3 Music, 14 Songs, 2010 $7.99  
Audio CD, Import, 2010 --  

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Jose interviewed by Robert Glasper pt. 1



Singer-songwriter José James has always been on the quest for new musical horizons; constantly evolving and blurring the lines between genres in the process. Now on the heels of his critically acclaimed Blue Note Records debut No Beginning No End, José returns with his dynamic and daring fifth album While You Were Sleeping. While keeping his trademark ... Read more in Amazon's José James Store

Visit Amazon's José James Store
for 10 albums, 4 photos, 3 videos, discussions, and more.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 12, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Indie Europe/Zoom
  • ASIN: B002N4PAXI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #148,702 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Code
2. Touch
3. Lay You Down
4. Promise in Love
5. Warrior
6. Made for Love
7. Save Your Love for Me
8. The Greater Good
9. Blackmagic
10. Detroit Loveletter
11. Love Conversation
12. Beauty
13. No Tellin' (I Need You)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A welcome return January 27, 2010
Format:Audio CD
I have been living with "Black Magic" for the last two weeks and for me the challenge was letting go of my attachment to "the Dreamer" and letting "Black Magic" introduce itself to me on its own terms. In many ways "the Dreamer" is a hard act to follow - it is a nearly flawless debut carefully crafted to be a timeless classic. The challenge with "Black Magic" is that it is concerned with the "now' enlisting cutting edge producers and collaborators from the global dance underground like Moodymann, Flying Lotus, DJ Mitsu the Beats, and Benga to give an identity to the project. Such a strategy begs the question of whether or not it will hold up in the coming years or become dated. IMHO I don't see this happening because underpinning the project is a dedication to high aesthetics and a reinforcement of the qualities that initially attracted me to Mr. James' music - there's quality writing, musicianship and production all on offer here. The album is sophisticated but still retains the hazy-lazy flow of "the Dreamer" . You can put on "Black Magic" and just go where it leads. Repeated listening reveals the depths embedded in each track, each listen makes clearer the cohesion of the whole project. Highlights abound - Promises in Love, Code, Black Magic, Love Conversation, Save your Love for me, Made for Love, and more. Overall, a smart update of Mr. James' approach and sound; one that I am glad to be around to hear. I hope there's a vinyl edition. Highly recommended.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A truly distinctive,enjoyable offering. February 21, 2010
Format:Audio CD
This is second album from José James, whose brilliantly expressive voice has graced recent releases from Nicola Conte (Rituals) and Timo Lassy(Round Two).
Brooklyn-based, Panamanian/Irish 20-something James honed his jazz chops by scatting along to Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong between rapping to hip hop albums and writing lyrics to tracks by Coltrane.
He took a pretty direct route to getting DJ/zeitgeist monitor Gilles Peterson's attention. He flew over to London, went out clubbing and slipped the hugely influential DJ and prescient A&R man a copy of his demos.
Intrigued by the hip young singer's attitude and by his subtle baritone smokey, dusky vocals, Gilles Peterson took a listen and - blown away by his stunning vocal version of Trane's classic tune "Equinox" - immediately signed him to his thriving young indie label Brownswood.
Thus he bursts on to the scene, jazz guns blazing, blasting away the likes of Michael Bublé and Jamie Cullum and proving himself the sort of singer jazz lovers have been crying out for.
The album takes a couple of plays to really appreciate and is more soul oriented than his debut "The Dreamer".
"Promise In Love" and "Greater Good" are nice soulful mid tempos with horn backing.
"Lay You Down' has a D'Angelo feel to it, and "Save Your Love For Me" is a nice beat ballad.
The more acoustic jazzier "Touch" has great keyboards and "Warrior" is heavier jazz.
All in all, this is strong album from one of jazzs hippest young performers on the market : for jazz fans or romantics, there's plenty to admire and whether it makes you want to catch James live, or put the CD on at dinner parties for some soothing, unobtrusive backing,there's a goldmine to be tapped.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Already A Favorite of The Year February 28, 2010
Format:Audio CD
I became a huge fan of Jose James after listening to his 2008 debut, The Dreamer. James first struck my interest after I first read an article about him in Downbeat magazine. He seemed like the type of young modern jazz artist I had been waiting to hear: a young versatile, open-minded cat who respected the legends that came before him while bringing a fresh b-boy flair. After listening to The Dreamer, I saw that I was right in my pre-assessment of James.

I am more than happy to say that James topped himself with his sophomore release, Blackmagic.

It's entirely unfair (and incorrect) to categorize Blackmagic as a straight jazz album. Blacksmagic defies categorization. James recalls legends like Gil Scott Heron, Terry Callier and Jon Lucien in that he comes from an angle that's both jazzy at its core AND conventionally soulful all while creating a lushly unique vibe that is all his own.

The brilliant Flying Lotus, DJ Mistsu the Beats, Taylor McFerrin (son of Bobby) and Moodyman all contribute production, helping to further defy categorization. FL's three contributions (Code, the standout Made for Love and the title track), in particular, all arrive at a perfect meeting point that merge his trademark celestialness with James' wistful old-soul groove.

All thirteen of Blackmagic's tracks (as well as the slow burning 10-minute jazz vocal piece "The Light" that rounds out the album as a bonus track) radiate with so much soul, feeling and creativity.

This album is proof that good music is still being made and released. You just won't hear it on the radio!
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5.0 out of 5 stars " BLACKMAGIC " August 18, 2014
Format:MP3 Music
His voice is from another age and time. With the self-assured swagger of Frank Sinatra, Jose James' casual, effortless glide through song is something so rare in contemporary jazz that it cannot help but stand out. On BlackMagic, his second release on Gilles Peterson's Brownswood Recording indie label, James dims the hip hop and spoken word influences of his earlier The Dreamer to conjure jazz and soul more sinewy and mystical. The Panamanian and Irish Brooklynite (by way of Minneapolis, MN) does more than wrap his beckoning baritone around a lyric like no other; the pocket nester stretches across genres on BlackMagic to tackle a rare jazz standard, radio R&B, drum n' bass, and ambient progressive soul tailor-made for martini lounges the world over. The results are nothing less than sublime, with James' birthing one of the first complete albums of the year.

James' simplicity often invites comparisons to Jon Lucien and Terry Callier. But, for me, Lucien's rarely been as consistently engaging as James, and Callier, while closer, embraces a folksiness that the urbane James has yet to demonstrate. On cuts like "Beauty," the old guard of Black jazz crooners like Arthur Prysock and Johnny Hartman, with their husky, yet opal smooth baritones are better fits, fathers of Jose James iconoclastic image and ever enriching singing style (if any of those guys could also exhibit a rapper's flow, I'd call for DNA testing). James' melting vocals have matured from his youthful hug of rap cadences to those of a legitimate, traditional balladeer, with only a couple of exceptions like "Code." Instead of freestyles, the singer unveils new range and movement on soft to full journeys like the piano ballad "No Tellin.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
4 1/2
Published 2 months ago by Gradyborn
5.0 out of 5 stars you won't be disappointed. Great album Jose
I stumbled upon this artist listening to Maysa Radio on iTunes. I looked him up on YouTube and now I'm hooked on the smoothness of his vocals, lyrics and the jazzy sounds... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Tina M. Roberson
4.0 out of 5 stars Good intersection of Jazz and Low End Theory Hip-Hop/Beats
I bought this record on the strength of the Niney/D.Brown-sampling title track and was pleasantly surprised to find a few more FLyLo produced beats alongside productions by... Read more
Published 4 months ago by T. O'Neil
5.0 out of 5 stars Great artist
Excellent vocals and sounds. I purchase another of his CD's and then bought two for friends! I can't wait till he comes out with more!
Published 9 months ago by BD
4.0 out of 5 stars Oh, what a smooth album.
Jose James 3rd album is wonderful. His unique vocals move the rhythm of each songs from old formats of remixes of old & new school, lyrics are on point, and it just has such... Read more
Published 12 months ago by ARW
3.0 out of 5 stars Blackmagic is a limited bag of tricks
I discovered Jose James as the vocalist on JazzaNova's "Little Bird" and I found his Dreamer album stunning ("Park Bench People" is an instant classic). Read more
Published 18 months ago by Philip Ramsey
5.0 out of 5 stars Jose is the best
Obviouslly this has to be your kind of music. He is what I consider an indie artist with an awesome voice. I heard his music in a movie once and I was hooked. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Jackson
3.0 out of 5 stars Oh, baby. Oh, oh, baby . . .
It's Valentine's Day, a good day to purchase Blackmagic
if you're young and in love. Jose's got a full palette of voices:
here's some D'angelo, here's some Maxwell and... Read more
Published 20 months ago by MydaRay
4.0 out of 5 stars Black magic is a must buy
great album. it has a refreshing sound. the production is top shelf and it matches his voice perfectly. This album has been constent rotation since i purchased
Published 23 months ago by steve
3.0 out of 5 stars lots of promise
This guy is great ... a unique vocal range (baritone?) For this genre. The opening tracks are very nice, leaving the listener prepared for greater tracks to come. Read more
Published on April 15, 2011 by Nathanial Shortz
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