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About this clip:
Singer José James performs Erykah Badu’s “The Healer” during his concert on August 25 as part of Summer Sessions 2023, broadcast on Fridays Live.
About the concert:
Singer and songwriter José James, the crown prince of new-jack jazz, returns to perform the songs of modern soul queen Erykah Badu as captured on his new album, On & On: José James Sings Eryka Badu. An R&B-steeped singer from Minneapolis who’s as effective evoking Billie Holiday as Bill Withers, James honors Badu with his silk-smooth approach that melds an R&B feeling with a jazz crooner’s depth, in fresh arrangements of her classics “Green Eyes,” “Bag Lady,” and “Didn’t Cha Know.”
“It’s simple,” James explains. “Jazz singing has always been about interpreting the highest level of standards of your time. And for my generation Erykah Badu has been one of the most innovative and incisive songwriters. Her work has proven to be groundbreaking in a social, musical, and artistic sense.”
Working in close collaboration with master bassist, producer and arranger Ben Williams and surrounded by an array of brilliant players including in-demand keyboard phenom Big Yuki and drummer Jharis Yokley along with a rising young Afro-Ukrainian saxophonist Diana Dzhabbar, On & On is thoroughly a jazz album. Conceived in the spirit of Herbie Hancock’s River: The Joni Letters, James artfully draws upon his experiences with modern masters McCoy Tyner, Robert Glasper and Flying Lotus to create a new sonic landscape through an improvisatory lens, while celebrating one of the great artists of our time.
José James: vocals
Ebban Dorsey: alto saxophone
Big Yuki: keyboards
David Ginyard: bass
Jharis Yokley: drums
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