I'm a big fan of the new jazz style emerging that incorporates touches of '70s soul, contemporary electronica and hip-hop. Exponents of this movement include pianist Robert Glasper, bassist Esperanza Spalding and drummer Terri Lyne Carrington. Add to the list José James, a vocalist with retro smarts and a clear vision of where this jazz style is heading next.
James's new album—No Beginning, No End—is his fourth CD and a major step forward for the eclectic genre. If you've been listening to all sorts of exciting African-American music since the '60s, you'll hear their threads running throughout James's music here.