José James has announced a June 10 release date for his new album, While You Were Sleeping, his fifth studio album and his second album for Blue Note Records. While You Were Sleeping is the follow-up to his widely acclaimed R&B and jazz steeped No Beginning No End, and signals a new creative direction for the versatile singer-songwriter. The album was recorded in Brooklyn, NY, and was produced by José and Brian Bender.
That creative shift is heard in the rock edge of tracks like EveryLittleThing and Anywhere U Go and is evidenced in a change in José s band which adds guitarist Brad Allen Williams to the stellar line-up of keyboardist Kris Bowers, bassist Solomon Dorsey and drummer Richard Spaven. The influence of Jimi Hendrix can be heard throughout the album as much as R&B forefathers like Al Green. Special guests on While You Were Sleeping include vocalist Becca Stevens who duets with James on her song Dragon, as well as trumpeter Takuya Kuroda who is featured on the cover of Green s classic Simply Beautiful that closes the album.
This album is a synthesis of everything I love about music, says José, from contemporary artists like Frank Ocean, James Blake, and Junip to groundbreaking artists I grew up with like Nirvana, Radiohead, and Madlib.It's also a love letter to many late nights spent in East London clubs like Plastic People and Cargo, watching new movements unfold in electronic music. I want people to feel the joy of discovery that I experience night after night onstage, reaching for something new.