"He's a romantic baritone with a deep-funk band, stretching out songs, evoking both the '70s of Roberta Flack and Gil Scott-Heron and the '90s and oughts of J Dilla."
- Ben Ratliff, The New York Times
Featuring: Jose James - vocals/acoustic guitar
Kris Bowers - keys
Solomon Dorsey - bass
Richard Spaven - drums
Takuya Kuroda - trumpet
No Beginning No End is a seamless musical experience that moves between different styles with remarkable fluidity, bound together by James’ transcendent voice. It marks a new chapter in the artistic journey of the 33-year-old singer/songwriter. Conceived, recorded and produced independently without any recording contract, the album is his most personal statement yet.
Along the way, he recruited a mighty team of collaborators that include noted producer/bassist Pino Palladino; pianist/composer and fellow Blue Note artist Robert Glasper; R&B singer/songwriter/guitarist Emily King; international French-Moroccan singing star Hindi Zahra; and the 2011 Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition winner Kris Bowers. “I feel like this is my first album as an artist,” James says, “This is the first time in which there were no label, no A&R – nothing but myself and my relationship and history with my music.”
James has already established himself as a trailblazer for his intoxicating blend of jazz, hip-hop, R&B and electronica from his previous three albums. His 2008 debut The Dreamer and its 2010 follow-up, BlackMagic - both produced by the world-renowned DJ Gilles Peterson - transformed the Minneapolis-born, New York-based singer into an underground sensation in both the modern jazz and DJ culture scenes. His musical path follows its own rhyme and reason. James is a musical omnivore, an artist that resists being pigeonholed, equally at ease on stage with jazz legend McCoy Tyner as he is in the studio with rapper Oh No or electronica pioneer Flying Lotus.
Ben Ratliff described James' musical magic in a February 2012 edition of The New York Times: "He's a romantic baritone with a deep-funk band, stretching out songs, evoking both the '70s of Roberta Flack and Gil Scott-Heron and the '90s and oughts of J Dilla," then making smart comparisons to R&B superstar D'Angelo but distinguishing James as "a very different kind of singer than D'Angelo. He’s a little more acoustic singer-songwriter, a little more delicate."