Thursday, January 24, 2013

Review: José James- No Beginning No End

The members of the sales and marketing departments of Blue Note Records almost certainly celebrated when they first heard No Beginning No End, the new album by José James.  The project is probably the most commercially viable release on the label since Norah Jones' Feels Like Home.  Sales in the hundreds of thousands and multiple Grammy nominations seem inevitable. 

While No Beginning No End contains many of the bourgeois components of hits by Jones, Diana Ross and Lionel Richie (not necessarily a liability for an album of make-out music), it's really based on D'Angelo's seminal 2000 album Voodoo.  The loose jazz-funk hybrid- itself inspired by Prince, Roy Ayers, Curtis Mayfield, Bobby Womack, Marvin Gaye, Miles Davis and the O'Jays- is the sound of now. 

A few of the live performances I've watched online aren't particularly impressive.  And yesterday's NPR feature about James is incredibly irritating.  But none of that matters when I hit play.  Unless I burn out on it, No Beginning No End should figure prominently on my year-end album list.

I recall being told to get out of the way by cameramen during Hammerween at the Beaumont Club last October.  Based on this compelling footage of Hammerlord, I'm glad that I opted to comply with their irritating requests.

The Great Vehicle is a Federation of Horsepower side project.  The People's Cathedral of Wavelengths should appeal to fans of Joe Satriani, Brand X and Steve Morse.  (Tip via There Stands the Glass reader Gary.)

Destination Out's interaction with Barry Altschul is vital.

Lawrence's Klyph Scurlock "auditioned" for adorable Oklahoma kiddie punks Skating Polly.

Red Kross talks trash about REO Speedwagon in their "What's In My Bag" segment. 

Watching Nardwuar vs. Riff Raff gives me the strength to carry on.

Kansas City Click: My official picks are published here.

(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)


bigsteveno said...

I have absolutely no idea who Nardwuar or Riff Raff are, but that was awesome, proof that there are multiple intersecting alternate universes.

Happy In Bag said...

Ain't life grand?