Socialist Worker

The Dreamer - Jose James

by Yuri Prasad
Issue No. 2087

Jose James is making some of the best vocal-led jazz and soul music around at the moment. He tackles social issues in a questioning, rather than a hectoring, way.

The title track on his new album is a beautiful homage to Dr Martin Luther King and asks us to think about a “world of possibilities” that are effectively denied by racial segregation and poverty.

The music is stripped down to the vocal, a double bass and a searing trumpet, meaning that every word can be heard.

Panamanian-born James gives a number of his own compositions plus a reworking of some hip-hop tracks.

Freestyle Fellowships’ “Park Bench People” is about the lives of working Americans who are homeless. The song restores their dignity by telling their story.

The Dreamer
by Jose James
£13.99 Brownswood Recordings

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Tue 5 Feb 2008, 18:05 GMT
Issue No. 2087
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