José James live on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno - Season 21

José James performed the hell out of his song “Trouble” live on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno last night, sounding less like the many “New D’Angelo” comparisons his critically-acclaimed album No Beginning, No End has garnered (less meaningful now that we got our old D’Angelo back!) and more like the ghost of Gil Scott in a scat-battle with Sly Stone and Dwele. For real–if, in the immortal words of G.U.R.U., it’s mostly the voice, then José James has already won, we just don’t know it yet. Watch him get loose below and purchase No Beginning, No End here (via iTunes).



  • SkeptikalAudiophile

    It don’t understand why he’s so much compared to D. Though it has that “new soul” feel (a denomination D rejects), it’s not the same vocal range, nor the same technicity or spirit. José James is just José James. As for the Sly influence, true. The chord progression of each cycles first 4 bars has just been copied and pasted from Sly’s classic “If you want me to stay”, from the Fresh LP. New jazz man? Maybe. Old school revivalist: for sure.

    • well it may be simplistic but there is something to the D comparison. for one thing James has said as much himself, and assembled a backing band (inc. Glasper, Pino Palladino and Chris Daddy Dave) specifically to bring a Voodoo-ish r&b sound back

      hes def. channeling different influences on “trouble” but if you listen to “all over your body” which is the main song getting some alternative radio play:


      then Voodoo is definitely the first thing that comes to mind…

  • brownstocking

    anyone comparing Jose to D’Angelo is lazy. That’s like comparing Leela James to Jill Scott. They’re talented, women and singers, but they’re different.