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6 Reviews
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A strong second CD!
I first heard the music of Jose James at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam and I was amazed by his voice and performance. I immediatelu bougt his first CD The Dreamer and now I'm a really Jose James-fan. His second CD is very strong and gives a good statue of his qualities and the possibities. I'm looking forward for his third CD with the Belgian jazzpianist Jef...
Published on 27 Feb 2010 by Jack Running culture

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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's a grower at least I hope it is..
First up I am massive fan of The Dreamer, I cant honestly remember playing an album as solidly I have Jose's last offering it really is a wonderful album. So that may well be part of Balckmagic's downfall. I guess my expectations were perhaps unjustifiably high.

So first impressions were not great it appeared to be a mish mash of styles that provided a lack of...
Published on 20 Jan 2010 by Mister Aitch


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A strong second CD!, 27 Feb 2010
By 
Jack Running culture "Jack" (Middelburg, The Netherlands) - See all my reviews
This review is from: BLACK MAGIC (Audio CD)
I first heard the music of Jose James at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam and I was amazed by his voice and performance. I immediatelu bougt his first CD The Dreamer and now I'm a really Jose James-fan. His second CD is very strong and gives a good statue of his qualities and the possibities. I'm looking forward for his third CD with the Belgian jazzpianist Jef Neve, songs of John Coltrane
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A smart recasting of the James aesthetic, 27 Jan 2010
This review is from: BLACK MAGIC (Audio CD)
I have been living with "Black Magic" for the last two weeks and I will agree with the first reviewer that it is a grower but disagree with it being described as a mish-mash of styles. For me the challenge was letting go of my attachment to "the Dreamer" and letting "Black Magic" introduce itself to me on its own terms. In many ways "the Dreamer" is a hard act to follow - it is a nearly flawless debut carefully crafted to be a timeless classic. The challenge with "Black Magic" is that it is concerned with the "now' enlisting cutting edge producers and collaborators like Moodymann, Flying lotus and Benga to give an identity to the project. Such a strategy begs the question of whether or not it will hold up in the coming years or date. IMHO I don't see this happening because underpinning the project is a dedication to high aesthetics - there's quality writing, musicianship and production on offer here. The album still retains the hazy-lazy flow of "the Dreamer" - you can put on "Black Magic" and just go with the flow. Repeated listening reveals the depths embedded in each track, each listen makes clearer the cohesion of the whole project. Highlights abound - Promises in Love, Code, Black Magic, Love Conversation, Save your Love for me, Made for Love, and more. Overall, a smart update of Mr. James' approach and one that I am glad to be around to hear. I hope there's a vinyl edition. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A second jazz album but influenced by modern R&B, 3 Aug 2011
By 
Amillionmiles (Hove, East Sussex) - See all my reviews
This review is from: BLACK MAGIC (Audio CD)
Jose James' first album, "The Dreamer", was quite a jazzy affair, being mainly filled with mid-tempo and slower jazz tunes with a piano being his acccompaniment of choice. This release, "Blackmagic", is a much more experimental album, where some of the tracks blend jazz with hip-hop, funk, soul and R&B. This brings a continuity to the album, where it does have interesting additional sounds and influences.

"Code", "Lay You Down" and "Made For Love" are examples of this where he lends his seductive baritone voice to funky neo soul tracks, with hip-hop style beats. They are very good, reminding me of work by Amel Larrieux or Jill Scott. "Touch", "Save Your Love For Me" and "The Greater Good" are examples of more straight forward funky jazz tunes and are very soothing to listen to. "Promise" is pretty much an R&B tune which could have been released by Donell Jones or Anthony Hamilton. "Warrior" has a distinctive trip-hop feel and could fit well on a Massive Attack CD - the piano solo fits really well with the cool beats. The duet with Jordana De Lovely, "Love Conversation", and "Beauty" are very mellow slow jams. The final two tracks "No Tellin'" and "This Is The Day" are the only piano led jazz ballads on this release and finish the album off with class.

"Blackmagic" is therefore a pretty solid second effort by Jose James. It does not have any particular highlights, just a good variation of styles and influences. A good album to listen to on a rainy day.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's a grower at least I hope it is.., 20 Jan 2010
This review is from: BLACK MAGIC (Audio CD)
First up I am massive fan of The Dreamer, I cant honestly remember playing an album as solidly I have Jose's last offering it really is a wonderful album. So that may well be part of Balckmagic's downfall. I guess my expectations were perhaps unjustifiably high.

So first impressions were not great it appeared to be a mish mash of styles that provided a lack of consistency that I found frustrating . The Dubstep vibe of Warrior just seems so out of place when compared to the Nancy Wilson cover. The thing is as individual tracks they are all pretty good and if you were listening to GP's worldwide and he dropped one in a set it would probably stand out and make you want more of JJ.

I cant remember if the dreamer was an instant winner with me or not, but I have given this a couple of run throughs and I'm beginning to warm to it. I am sitting here listening to the Bonus untitled track 14 at the end and its much more like what I was expecting and hoping for. The thing is I really like that Mahogani Detroit sound I just didn't want it here amongst some pure jazz vocals.

I don't want to be harsh, the duets work well but again I think they were unexpected so didn't win me over straight away.

Its by no means a bad CD and Jose really is great to listen to at anytime, I think Old age is creeping up on me and I wanted a purer jazz vocalist album, perhaps his switch to Verve and release there later this year will give me my fix.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great album, 11 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Blackmagic (MP3 Download)
this is great album from a great artist. Great variety of styles. A beautifully crafted album and great introduction to his work
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars love a bit of blackmagic, 10 Mar 2010
By 
Mr. G. Aku "fusion17_18" (London Uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: BLACK MAGIC (Audio CD)
I prefer this to Jose's first album. It great, eclectic and has hit the nail on the head. Great job Mr James.
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BLACK MAGIC
BLACK MAGIC by Josť James (Audio CD - 2010)
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