May 25, 2010

V4YS Album Review - José James & Jef Neve - For All We Know (Impulse! Recordings)

We mentionned in late 2009 José James & Jef Neve remarkable live jazz project paying tribute to Alice and John Coltrane (we even included it in our 2009 favorite records even though it was only a live act, check the link for the full Brussels live video).
At the same time they signed on the legendary Impulse! Recordings label and were supposed to release an album this year. So here is "For All We Know".
Contrary to what I expected this record is not a studio version of their Coltrane project, but their interpretation of 9 timeless jazz classics. The sensibility of Jef Neve's piano play and the mesmerizing baritone voice of José fit perfectly together. The duo manages to create an intimate soul-stirring musical atmosphere that should appeal to many jazz fans.
Almost all of the record was recorded in one take during a half-day-long session in a Belgian studio, thus preserving the spontaneity of each adaptation.
Among the standards they decided to refresh let's mention their fantastic version of "Autumn In New-York" from Vernon Duke, the sweet cover of George & Irva Gershwin's "Embraceable You" made famous by Billie Holiday, the bluesy take of Andy Razah & Don Redman's "Gee Baby, Ain't I Good To You" or the juicy "Just Squeeze Me (But Please Don't Tease Me)" from Duke Ellington & Lee Gaines made famous by Ella Fitzgerald.

So after his own second album "Black Magic", released earlier this year and which explores nu-soul and abstract beats, and then the phenomenal live show he recently gave in Paris (review here) to promote it, José once again demonstrates the extent of his talent with this album focusing on his pure jazz side.

A true moment of refinement and class!

The duo is perfoming in many countries this summer, all dates here!

Below a small video with José & Jef discussing this album, you can also listen to several tracks among which "Autumn In New-York" HERE.

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