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Jose James and Kris Bowers Live at Sculler's in Boston

Ben Gray
Contributing Writer
bengray417@gmail.com

José James is releasing a new album, While you were Sleeping, on June 10 (check out "EveryLittleThing" here). Kris Bowers recently released Heroes + Misfits, and plays keys in James' live band. Their respective groups are currently touring in support of Bowers' recent release and James' upcoming release. On April 18, they came through Boston and played at Sculler's. While there, they were taped for the Funk It Blog, where those recordings are now available. Check out a few audio streams after the jump, and head over to the FunkIt blog to hear more.

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Jose James - "EveryLittleThing" (Stream)

Ben Gray
Staff Writer
bengray417@gmail.com

One of our favorite vocalists around here, José James, will be releasing While You Were Sleeping, his follow-up to 2013’s No Beginning, No End, on June 10. Whet your appetite with the first tune from the album, "EveryLittleThing". The sound is a surprise from past José James releases, though James has covered jazz standards, electronic music, soul, and R&B, so perhaps change is the only constant and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that James is covering new territory here with a sort of rock/electronic hybrid sound. James is joined here by Kris Bowers on keys, Solomon Dorsey on bass, Richard Spaven on drums, and Brad Allen Williams on guitar (Takuya Kuroda on trumpet and Corey King on trombone will also appear on While You Were Sleeping, but aren’t on this particular track). Listen to "EveryLittleThing" after the jump.

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David Weiss Sextet - "Loss" (Stream)

Ben Gray
Contributing Writer
bengray417@gmail.com

Standout trumpeter David Weiss (from The Cookers, Point of Departure, and Endangered Species: The Music of Wayne Shorter) has a new project, When Words Fail, set to be released on May 20th. Weiss has made one of the tunes from the album available ahead of that release. "Loss" features Weiss on trumpet, Myron Walden and Marcus Strickland on saxes, Xavier Davis on piano, the late Dwayne Burno on bass, and E.J. Strickland on drums. The music on When Words Fail come out of a difficult period for Weiss ("the last year or so has been a time of profound loss for me"). For the jazz community, When Words Fail is the final recording made by bassist Dwayne Burno before he was lost to us. The tune "Loss" was written by Weiss for the founder of Motema Music, Jana Herzen, who recently lost her father. Having given this context, "Loss" is an excellent piece of modern jazz that is full of great solos and group playing. The connection between Burno and Davis on bass and piano, respectively, is tight as they provide the rhythm section backing along with E.J. Strickland’s drums, and the whole tune moves along beautifully. Check it out after the jump.

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Resolution: A Critical Analysis of Covers

Ben Gray
Contributing Writer
bengray417@gmail.com

John Coltrane's A Love Supreme... whew, that's a big one. From the album's liner notes: "Dear Listener...During the year 1957, I experienced, by the grace of God, a spiritual awakening which was to lead me to a richer, fuller, more productive life. At that time, in gratitude, I humbly asked to be given the means and privilege to make others happy through music. I feel this has been granted through His grace...This album is a humble offering to Him." So, this is a powerful, classic album, but it was more than that for Coltrane.

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Gerald Clayton Trio at Durham, NC's Motorco Music Hall

Ben Gray
Contributing Writer
bengray417@gmail.com

Gerald Clayton brought his trio to Durham, NC’s Motorco Music Hall last Friday for the first of a two-night run. He had longtime partner Joe Sanders on bass and Kendrick Scott on drums (subbing for Justin Brown, who has appeared on Clayton’s albums as part of the trio; this trio with Scott on drums has certainly played together before, though, as evidenced by their rapport together).