José James, and Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood label which releases his records, really are on one hell of a role at the moment. As if James’ cover of Park Bench People wasn’t enough fabulousness for one Summer, soon to drop is this:
Just A Maestro Jazzy Joint (the album’s called Just A Maestro – sorry!), which sees José collaborating with J.A.M, who in turn are a new trio made up of members of Soil & “Pimp” Sessions (also on Brownswood, natch).
Soil & “Pimp” specialise in great dance-floor jazz (or death jazz if you believe their PR). And by the sounds of it, J.A.M will do exactly the same.
Just A Maestro Jazzy Joint is a storming little number, which José James adds some great vocals to, including a serious bit of scat at the end. José James, Soil & “Pimp” Sessions and now J.A.M all show that jazz is still one of the most adventurous forms of music out there: whilst bloated indie bands reap the record sales with their increasingly disappointing product, these guys, and their backers at Brownswood Recordings, show that you can take a traditional genre of music and still make it sound utterly fresh.
If you’re thinking of picking up the Duffy album, Adele, or any of the other coffee-table releases of recent months, don’t. Go out and buy something by any of these guys instead, and hear how this stuff should sound.