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Jose James - Blackmagic

  by Spencer Robertshaw

published: 17 / 2 / 2010

Jose James - Blackmagic
Label: Brownswood Recordings
Format: CD


Outstanding second album from soul jazz artist Jose Jones, which matches up to the excpections and promise set by 'The Dreamer', his much acclaimed first album

Second albums are always difficult. The pressure is on and a cracking first album is always a hard taskmaster, putting the musician firmly in each listener's sights. Sometimes a musician or band fires the big guns from first outing and has a really hard time getting it right with the next album. With his first album ‘The Dreamer’ being absolutely a 10 /10 production, soul jazz artist Jose Jones must have had his and everybody else’s breath held tight. He has, however,did one great job with this second release. It’s a moody powerful compilation of tracks which draw you in and hold you. This is an intellectual journey into Jose James’s make-up. Each part of this album is splendid. There seem to be more emotional songs or maybe he is just that good he can hold you with his voice alone. I first thought of Gil Scott Heron but James is more vocally talented. From ‘The Dreamer’ we felt the raw talent.Now we are getting more refined work much as a fine wine would mature, age and breathe. I often review albums as a whole and only change tack if there have been some major collaborations which give you a double bonus. It is the same here , but each track is different enough from the last to be able to pick any and have a treat (The eleventh track, 'Detroit Newsletter', is a beautiful journey – hey so I broke my rule), stretching perhaps from an R n B tip , sub Jazz to the full Jazz blunt, with production that is nanospec tight. This album is from the Brownswood stable which means that it is a DJ Gilles Peterson product. This DJ travels the globe to find talent and tunes and anything he plays puts together is always welcome through my Kef tallboys. Buy ‘The Dreamer’ at the same time and forget the next few evenings, also check out Brownswood Recordings for some great music and check out the Gilles Peterson collections, many and each of which is brilliant. Take the pressure out of your day first of all with this though. Play this and enjoy.

Track Listing:-
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)
14 The Light

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