No Beginning No End

Studio Album by released in 2013
No Beginning No End's tracklist:
It's All Over Your Body
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Sword + Gun (feat. Hindi Zahra)
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Trouble
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Vanguard
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Come to My Door
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Heaven On the Ground (feat. Emily
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Do You Feel
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Make It Right
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Bird of Space
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No Beginning No End
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Tomorrow
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Come to My Door (Acoustic Version)
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Heaven On the Ground
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No Beginning No End review

Between jazz and hip-hop

It won’t be an exaggeration to say that Jose James’ new album, released early in 2013 under the title No Beginning No End, was one of the hotly anticipated albums among classic and modern jazz and soul fans. As a matter of fact, genre definitions here are very abstract since James’ art is known for its incredible diversity and song-writing liberty. His previous efforts have a fantastic ability to please conservative fans of retro music and at the same time to amuse followers of contemporary hip-hop. And this time, again, Jose has prepared an intriguing, manifold work which is difficult to describe in words, and so pleasant to listen to. The musician was extremely considerate of all the aspects involved in the making of this album as he enrolled the band he had long been touring with. The CD was recorded in London and New York under the supervision of a whole group of established producers and released by the label Black Note James worked with for the first time.

No Beginning No End: an amazing inconstancy

No Beginning No End produces an impression of a finely complied collection of covers of soul and jazz hits which, transformed by singer Jose and his fellow musicians, received a new sounding. Yet these are no covers, nor old classic songs, but totally new material, which, however, is convincing and penetrating like some ancient hits we have somehow forgotten. It could be so that Jose’s singing changes from song to song, making the instruments sound different, or maybe in reverse, but each track brings a new and essential something into the musical picture of the album. After the impressive opener Trouble, executed as a blend of neo-soul and R&B, with a variety of horns and a distinct bass line, you might think and even want the entire album to be like that. But soon we get to the brilliant Vanguard with pianist Robert Glasper’s gorgeous performance, and he hear energetic jazz with unforeseeable rhythms. Moreover, Sword + Gun introduces a colorful exotic element with its tribal chanting, playful bass and loud hand-clapping.

Jose James simply loves the music he makes

Listening to this Jose James’ album is the same watching a film about travels and adventures. While some songs picture the bright sunshine and lively ringing guitars, others have a grey sky filling up with sadness. And they all come hand in hand; taking turns as they entertain the listeners. There is no doubt it could not be this powerful if it was not for the wonderful vocal works. In the aforementioned Sword + Gun, the focus is drawn by Moroccan singer Hindi Zahra. And the optimistic pop-jazz piece Heaven On The Ground is a duet of James and Emily King, who, by the way, penned two songs for this album. No Beginning No End could have easily had a more elevated ending, but the authors preferred a melancholic theme, Tomorrow, with a touching piano line. When the final chord of this great work fades, you would again wonder how light, how natural this music is, and how fast it gets to the heart of the listener. It is likely to be like that with the following albums of Jose James just as long as his music is a great pleasure for himself.