JOSE JAMES – YESTERDAY I HAD THE BLUES

 Jose James is an expert record maker. This is the second year in a row he’s made one of my year-end lists. Yesterday I Had The Blues – his tribute to Billie Holiday – is a must own. Throughout, James is at the height of his powers, never overreaching. His phrasing and tone are expertly crafted for the songs, almost making you forget that these gems were crafted for a female voice. Listen as “Good Morning Heartache” and “God Bless the Child” both reach new heights under his tutelage. Meanwhile, Jason Moran’s piano works well in its interplay with the stick work of Eric Harland. These little touches elevate an album from good to great.”