Posts Tagged ‘Jazz’

If You Don’t Know… Jose` James

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If you don’t know Jose` James… download his music right away, grab your favorite drink, dim the lights and allow his silky baritone to transport your mind.  His vocal styling will gently touch you, almost like a tickle then envelope you in crescendo leaving you wondering, how did we get here?

Even if this moment is the first time you’re hearing James, you may think, “He sounds so familiar.”  When I listen to this Minneapolis born singer, sometimes he sounds a bit like Michael Franks, then it’s more Oscar Brown Jr. or maybe it’s Gil-Scott Heron with a touch of Johnny Hartman.  Although he may remind you of some of your favorite classic vocalists, he undoubtedly blends it all into something very intimate and new.

James was born into music; his Dad was a saxophonist and had the ability to play multiple instruments.  This may explain why James’ voice flows and reaches like a Jazz horn.

His tune, “Desire” from the “Dreamer” album is featured in my “Believe” mix.  I suggest you immediately download the full “Dreamer” album, it’s a compilation of straight ahead jazz.  Then get the “Blackmagic” album, a wonderful exploration of Neo-soul married with hip-hop and Jazz.  Wherever James’ eclectic style takes you, I guarantee you’ll not only enjoy the ride, but also be thankful for it.  Love!

Featured Song: Little Bird

Download Now: Desire, No Tellin’ (I Need You), Love Conversation, Code, For All We Know

 

BELIEVE – “Be” Mixtape Vol. 4

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I’m so proud to present Believe, the 4th installment in my signature “Be” Mix Series.  This mixtape explores various concepts of believing.  It also examines the idea of true love sustaining despite the baggage from past relationships.

I’d like to give a special shout-out and thank you to up and coming Neo-soul singer, Tracy Cruz; she blessed me with her forthcoming single Happy.  This mix features a number of new artists who I hope you’ll explore including Jose` James, KING, and my home girl Carolyn Malachi.  She opens this mix with her song Organic Soul.  There’s also some classic Soul on this one including music from Roy Ayers, the Pointer Sisters and Deniece Williams.  My friends, family and their hilarious voicemails have once again provided my interludes.

The “Be” Mixes are like my babies, and I take months carefully selecting each song.  My goal with these mixes is to be cutting edge while challenging you with new music and experimental artists who push and break boundaries. Be sure to also check out Betrayed, Between, and Behave as well.  Please stream or download all of my mixes and tell a friend about DJBeTray.com.

I hope you enjoy Believe, remember to comment  and tell me what you think.

And on a side note – it is official, Erykah Badu is the only artist featured on all of the “Be” Mixes.  Nina Simone follows her with appearances on 3 of the 4 mixes including this one.  Love!

Download the 192kbps/HQ version (107 MB) here!

If You Don’t Know… Gregory Porter

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If You Don’t Know Gregory Porter… then you need to get to know this dynamic, Grammy nominated, jazz singer and song writer.

This post is the newest addition to DJBeTray.com entitled, “If You Don’t Know…”  In these articles, I will hip you to artists I’ve discovered in hopes of influencing your next download.  I’ve been contemplating starting these posts for months and after hearing Gregory Porter, I couldn’t wait any longer.

Porter’s songs are like vivid theatrical presentations; that makes sense given his background in Broadway musical theater.  He sings with the confidence and presence of a classic 60’s soul vocalist.  I’m not just saying this because he sings the song 1960 What? with so much intensity that you would swear it was an actual song from the 60’s; I say this because his voice is wrapped in a kind of feeling and experience that I once feared lost to our generation.  As I listened to Porter’s Grammy nominated album, Water, I heard some hints of Kurt Elling and at times Donnie Hathaway.  While his influences may be familiar to most jazz lovers, Porter’s vocal styling is clearly original.

Porter’s 1960 What? is featured in my Something New (Fall/Winter 2011) mix. Water was first released in 2010, but Porter has just dropped a remix of the Water album.

If you want to check him out live, catch a show at Smoke on New York’s Upper West Side.  I hear it’s still possible to get a seat but believe me, it won’t be that way for long.

Featured Song: Illusion

DJ BeTray’s Suggested Downloads: 1960 What?, Illusion, Water

BETRAYED – “Be” Mixtape Vol. 1

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This mixtape is the first in a series focusing on matters of the heart. It’s a story told through the music of some of the most talented underground Neo-soul and jazz artists of today; it also features some soul classics.  The story begins with the internal dialogue of a frustrated woman who is distracted from self examination when she quickly finds herself in love… again.  The man seems to reciprocate.  The rules are set, and just as fast as it began, their “love” dies.  The woman remains determined to be strong and convinces herself she’s better off without him.  She focuses on herself and this time is blessed with what appears to be real love… Could it be?

You can download the mp3 version of the BETRAYED mixtape here!