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José James Unveils 12th Studio Album ‘1978’

Today, José James, the internationally-acclaimed jazz singer for the hip-hop generation, releases his 12th studio album, ‘1978’ via his own Rainbow Blonde Records. ‘1978’ is named after the year James was born and features collaborations with Brazilian rising star and recent Latin Grammy nominee Xênia França, as well as Congolese-Belgian rapper/filmmaker Baloji. Produced by James and featuring an all-star ensemble including Grammy nominees Pedrito Martinez (Camilla Cabello, Eric Clapton), Marcus Machado (Daniel Caesar, Pharoahe Monch), Jharis Yokley (Sleigh Bells, My Brightest Diamond) Chad Selph (Bilal, FREELANCE) and David Ginyard (Solange, Blood Orange), the album successfully captures the sounds of the ‘70s, an era where jazz, soul, disco, and hip-hop fused together and filled the shimmering night clubs across the country. James celebrated the release last night with an in-store performance and signing at his hometown of Minneapolis’ Electric Fetus. He’ll also be performing and signing records this Sunday, April 7th at 5 pm CT at Chicago’s Shuga Records.

Five years in the making, ‘1978’ emerges as James’s most autobiographical work yet, pulsating with the socially conscious party and politics vibes of ‘70s luminaries. Disco-stompers “Saturday Night (Need You Now)” and “Planet Nine” invite listeners to escape on the dancefloor, while “For Trayvon” is a poised tribute to Trayvon Martin. “38th & Chicago” expresses James’ outrage and heartbreak surrounding the murder of George Floyd. Despite its infectious beat and hook, the lyrics comprise a stunning/wrenching protest anthem, with a title that references the Minneapolis intersection where George Floyd was murdered, just blocks from where James grew up. James emerges as a leader in today’s global Black music landscape through collaborations like “Dark Side Of The Sun” with Baloji and “Place of Worship” with Xenia França. In recent overseas ‘1978’ reviews, Record Collector likens James to a “Johnny Hartman-like crooner for the hip-hop age,” while Echoes praises his “Marvin-style sexy undulation” on “Black Orpheus [Don’t Look Back].”

James premiered ‘1978’ live earlier this year at the Music Hall of Williamsburg as part of the NYC Winter Jazz Fest. In a few weeks, he’ll return to New York for a week-long residency at Blue Note Jazz Club, performing two shows each night. This spring, overseas fans can see him at esteemed venues across Europe, including Ronnie Scott’s in London, New Morning in Paris, and the Mojo Club in Hamburg. James will return stateside for a fall tour, which includes stops at Los Angeles’ Lodge Room, Ardmore Music Hall, with more cities and venues to be announced soon.

For a full list of tour dates, see below:

Tour Dates:

April 23 – Blue Note Jazz Club – New York, NY

April 24 – Blue Note Jazz Club – New York, NY

April 25 – Blue Note Jazz Club – New York, NY

April 26 – Blue Note Jazz Club – New York, NY

April 27 – Blue Note Jazz Club – New York, NY

April 28 – Blue Note Jazz Club – New York, NY

May 9 – Lensic Performing Arts Center – Santa Fe, NM

May 25 – Het Depot – Leuven, Belgium

May 26 – Mojo Club – Hamburg, Germany

May 27 – Paradiso – Amsterdam, Netherlands

May 28 – La Briqueterie – Schiltigheim, France

May 29 – New Morning – Paris, France

May 30 – Théâtre Lino Ventura – Nice, France

May 31 – Ronnie Scott’s – London, U.K.

June 1 – Ronnie Scott’s – London, U.K.

June 3 – Club Porgy & Bess – Vienna, Austria

June 4 – Moods – Zurich, Switzerland

June 5 – Cosmopolite Scene – Oslo Norway

July 11 – Les Jardins du Palais Longchamp – Marseille, France

July 15 – MSiTJ “Manggha” – Kraków, Poland

September 5 – Ardmore Music Hall – Ardmore, PA

September 15 – Lodge Room – Los Angeles, CA

‘1978’ Tracklist

  1. Let’s Get It
  2. Isis & Osiris
  3. Planet Nine
  4. Saturday Night (Need You Now)
  5. Black Orpheus (Don’t Look Back)
  6. Dark Side Of The Sun feat. Baloji
  7. Place Of Worship feat. Xenia França
  8. For Trayvon
  9. 38th & Chicago

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