José James and Jef Neve - For All We Know
“This record is all about capturing the moment”, says young London-based American singer José James about his new duo album For All We Know, where he interprets old jazz standards with Belgian pianist Jef Neve. The lushly spacious and unhurried album was recorded in one spontaneous marathon session, after Neve, purely by chance, had ended up sitting in for James’ absent pianist. “It just felt like we had always played together”, José says.
The Minneapolis-born James, whose rich baritone seems to be a continuation of Jon Lucien and Gil Scott-Heron, rose to international fame with his two albums (The Dreamer, Blackmagic) on Gilles Peterson’s Brownwood label. Though one can sense experience from soul and hip-hop on the records, they are essentially timeless jazz. An in-demand collaborator, José has already worked with Basement Jaxx, Nicola Conte, Jazzanova, Toshio Matsuura and many others.
Neve is a thirtyish pianist sensation from Belgium. His live performances and three albums (Blue Saga, It’s Gone, Nobody Is Illegal) with his own trio have regularly driven both the audiences and the critics into ecstasy. “His concerts are almost like a religious experience, riveting audiences by the sheer power and imagination of his playing”, The Observer wrote recently.