Friday 27 April 2018

'The Dreamer' 10th Anniversary Edition

In 2008, Brownswood Recordings held the distinction of being the label home to introduce Jose James to the world.  Citing influences from John Coltrane, Nat King Cole, Marvin Gaye, Billie Holiday, Kurt Kobain and Jean-Michel Basquiat, 'The Dreamer' presented James as a young jazz artist, fast becoming a genuine master of his craft.

Although the album relies heavily upon its wonderful instrumentation, the haunting pianos, commanding bass and sublime horns all take a back seat to James’ inimitable and awe-inspiring vocal that takes centre stage throughout.  It’s a delectable and captivating vocal that ultimately went on to introduce a star.  Ten years later - seven albums, countless collaborations, remixes, live performances - things have come full circle with the anniversary edition of his debut album repackaged with a bonus four tracks ('Equinox', 'Central Park West', 'Resolution' and 'Coltrane (Dear Alice)') from the album sessions.

Here's an excerpt of an interview we had with Jose James in 2009 discussing the album:
What was the creative process of putting The Dreamer together like?Amazing.  Just pure music.  I wanted to compose and record in the same way that Kind of Blue was made, or much of the late Coltrane Quartet albums – bringing in charts the day of and recording it fresh, capturing the moment.  It worked.  Gilles [Peterson] gave me some great ideas for covers and they worked too – Nola and Park Bench People.  Junior Mance coming on the session was just pure love – he's so great!  It really brought the whole project to another level.  We recorded about 30 songs total and used 10.  Beautiful. 
Were you happy with how The Dreamer was received?Absolutely!  It's been a huge critical success for me and more importantly it has moved people... I really wanted that album to mean something and for people to really get it and they did.  It's a huge honour to be a part of something like that, to touch people.
'The Dreamer' is a stunning piece of work and a treasure to be enjoyed and celebrated.  Looking forward the to 20th anniversary edition!

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