"This record is all about capturing the moment," Jose James says of For All We Know, his upcoming Impulse! release. The album, a collaboration between James and noted Belgian pianist Jef Neve,
finds the charismatic young vocalist applying his warm, rich baritone
to a sterling assortment of timeless jazz and pop standards. The result
is an eloquently spare, effortlessly expressive set, with James' vivid
performances and the intimate duo format lending new emotional depth to
such beloved classics as “Tenderly," “Body and Soul," Billy Strayhorn's
“Lush Life" and George and Ira Gershwin's “Embraceable You."
For All We Know
is Jose James' first album for Impulse! Records, as well as his first
US release. But the Minneapolis-born, London-based singer is already a
sensation in Britain, Europe and Japan. Since his arrival on the
international scene in 2008, audiences and critics alike have embraced
the artist's talent and versatility, with his first two albums
(released on influential DJ/producer Gilles Peterson's Brownswood
Recordings label) winning James a reputation as both a rising star and
a vital new creative force.
All but one of For All We Know's
ten songs were recorded in a single informal six-hour session at Galaxy
Studios in Mol, Belgium. The project came together spontaneously, after
James and Neve performed together on a Belgian television show and Neve
filled in for James' regular pianist at a concert in Brussels.
felt like we'd been playing together forever," Jose recalls. “I had the
next day off, so I said 'Let's go in the studio and try to capture some
of this vibe.' Jef booked this really nice studio, we let the tape
roll, and that's the album. There was no producer, no overdubs, and
most of the songs were first takes.
“It wasn't anything
that we thought was gonna turn into a big release," he continues. “It
was just something that we thought was really cool. We just played the
songs we love the way we felt them, with no constraints. Playing as a
duo is very pure and honest; it's just you, the piano and silence."