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Grec 2015: José James

  • Music, Funk, soul and disco

Time Out says

In this centenary of the birth of Billie Holiday, a voice from the new generation pays tribute to her, proving that Lady Day’s star shines as brightly as ever. José James has described how her voice, ‘magnificent, warm, intimate and absolutely unique,’ could be heard in his childhood home. Strangely enough, these are all adjectives that can be applied to his own versatile baritone voice, distinguished by its rich, expressive quality. James rediscovered the voice of Lady Day during his teenage years, when he was also listening to Nirvana, De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest. So it’s no surprise that he mixes contemporary beats with the musical legacy of an artist who, as he says, opened the doors of jazz to him and showed him the path he should follow. After a career in which he has fused sounds ranging from neo-soul, jazz, hip hop and funk to experimental rock, James now performs, in his inimitable style, nine songs that were written or popularised by Billie Holiday.


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