Josie James Blog
Hi everybody! I have just returned from a very successful European tour and I can not believe it has been a year since the passing of my dear friend George Duke aka "Big Daddy." As it happens, I will be performing some George Duke songs with the GREAT Al Jarreau as a tribute to George in some upcoming dates, which I am very excited about! I want to thank all the fans who supported me with their great comments, visiting my website, following me on Facebook, downloading my That Jazz album, and going to YouTube to watch my videos on my channel. I am working on several projects in the coming months and getting closer to taking my own band on a promotional tour for That Jazz. Keep watching out for updates as they happen!
GEORGE DUKE IS GONE I was awakened Tuesday morning, August 6th at 6:45 am by singer Carl Carwell who called to confirm whether it was true that George had passed away. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Then came the email messages and phone calls from London, and all over the place! After going online there it was - the announcement. It was true.
George Duke-da-funk, Big Daddy, "here to please," as he use to say is gone. George Duke was a huge part of my musical life and training as a member of the original George Duke Band, which started with Ndugu Chancler, Byron Miller, Sheila Escovedo (E), Charles Icarus Johnson and Sharon "Muffy" Hendricks. I say original because many singers and musicians have gone through George's door over the years, but this band was the one that he took on his first major international tour. The Reach For It Band. It started with us.
When we came back to the US and finished the tour at The Roxy on Sunset, the hippest place in town that could hold the jazz fans who stood outside in long lines, we found out that Reach For It was becoming a major hit and I found myself back on tour again and going back in the studio to record the Don't Let Go album; my favorite of all the Duke albums. I sang lead vocals on great songs such as The Way I Feel, Movin' On, with new band member Napoleon "Napi" Brock, and Don't Let Go, the "I'm gonna bug ya, gonna hug ya, gonna love ya 'til you're out your mind" song, and of course my ad libs on Dukey Stick and "TALK TO ME QUICK!" Several albums followed, the Kool Jazz Festivals, and European tours rubbing shoulders with jazz icons such as Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Clarke, Billy Cobham, Flora Purim, Airto, and Weather Report with Miroslav Vitous, in Berlin, Zagreb, Paris, London, oh my!
But that was then, and this is now and George has left us with great memories of his gifted musicianship, performances, songs and his gentle spirit. My album That Jazz which is the title track, is a tribute to George and my musical history with him. I am honored that he made those comments about me on my homepage at josiejamesmusic.com. His every word has a whole new meaning. My last recording for George, is Jazzmatazz from his latest album Dream Weaver. Funny, it reminds me of the track Don't Let Go. In the end, I realized I sang on at least 90% of his works.
There has been George Duke tributes everywhere. I was asked to perform and give my expressions about George at a Memorial presented by Centric TV, the BET online network along with the George Duke Band. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=ZSP7QRGzPVw. A star-studded lineup such as Al Jarreau, who gave a heartfelt expression about his early career days with George at the Half Note nightclub in San Francisco, Stanley Clarke, Chaka Khan, Dianne Reeves, and Stevie Wonder, my mate from the Songs In The Key of Life days. Stanley Clarke gave a rousing performance on Brazilian Love Affair and I shared the stage with him singing backup. I had a blast from the past when the George Duke Band turned out the house for George performing Reach For It. So, it's time to "open the bottle baby," "give me some pluck," get the Pouilly Fuisse wine, and "Talk To Me Quick" because Big Daddy may have left the house but his music will keep on playing in mine! Love to Rashid, John, and the Duke family, who have lost both George and Corine, and all who had the opportunity to work with him. We give our love to the music.
Hi everybody! Here is my latest blog since the release of my album That Jazz! I am very excited about the response from fans who have followed me since my George Duke Band days, the Bacharach fans and all the new listeners and concert goers who have supported me and my music throughout the world. I especially appreciate the great support from my friends at Solar Radio from the UK! That Jazz entered the Gary Spence Sweet Rhythms Chart, and songs such as That Jazz, Coming Back to Your Love, Runnin' Out of Time, Win Your Love, La Musica and Morning Glow are some of the radio airplay favorites! One of my favorite tracks from the album Morning Glow, has touched the hearts of many fans. Thanks for the messages I received on Facebook. Again, it is very rewarding to see that all these songs getting airplay are original songs. Thanks to the brilliant talent from my songwriting partner and master Producer Nigel Martinez, because without him this album would not be possible.
For those who listen to Solar Radio, you may have heard me singing the new jingles and ads for the station. Thank you Solar Radio and all the DJs for your support. I also want to thank other radio stations who are playing my album in Switzerland, Spain, Mexico, and the list is growing! Viva La Musica!
Continue to look for new updates in my Gallery from live concerts and backstage happenings. My That Jazz Tea Cup is making a bit of noise. Check it out on my Gallery Page. Interested? Go to my Contact Page and send us a email to find out how to order one! Tea and coffee does taste better in that cup!! The That Jazz T-shirt is available as well!
My new YouTube Channel is featuring Win Your Love with lyrics. Win is dedicated to the fans who loved the original version and know what the deal is about that song! More music, videos, photos, and news to come. It is a work in progress. NJM Media is working on live dates to promote the album and I will be announcing the final confirmation of venue information for my European Tour this summer with Burt Bacharach. Until next time.
Stay Tuned! JJ
Hi everybody and welcome to my Blog! After years of jetting around the world touring with Burt Bacharach, I finally found a window of opportunity to go into the studio and record my new album, That Jazz with multi-talented producer Nigel Martinez, known for his great work with Billy Ocean. The album has original songs written by Nigel and myself, which is something you don't get to hear these days. For years now, cover songs have dominated the music scene, but I have always admired artists who were given the chance to compose their own music. However, due to the big response from Burt fans to record Anyone Who Had A Heart, I decided to record the song, but with a jazz trio! It is one of my favorite tracks on the album. That Jazz is a reflection of all the many flavors I love in music. La Musica, The Fantasy, Morning Glow, I Wanna Be Your Friend, all the songs were great fun to record. The title track, is a tribute to my years in the George Duke Band which brought me to the stage and recording studio with great artists like Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Clarke, and a whole family of great musicians.
It's been a very busy year for me since I headlined The Music of James Bond with the San Diego Symphony, and then back on tour with Burt Bacharach. On this particular tour, I revisited the great countries of Italy, Australia, Japan, and the USA. One of the highlights was returning to the the Sydney Opera House. It was really unbelievable to perform center stage once again for the 10th time! It was such a great honor. There is a definite vibe on that stage. The experience and the reaction from the audience for me is always powerful and tremendously rewarding. I look forward to returning there again headlining my own shows.
I want to send out many thanks to all the fans everywhere who have supported me, given great comments on my Facebook Fan Page and on the iTunes Rate and Review site for That Jazz. Also, a big shout out to those Dukey Stick folks who still remember my jazz, funk, fusion days as lead vocalist in the George Duke Band! TALK TO ME QUICK! There is ear candy for all on this album, and I hope you will check it out, enjoy it and tell all your friends as well. So, to all those music lovers I have met, friends and family, I say to you - Grazie, Merci, Arigato, Orbrigato, Danke schon, Mahalo, Cheers Mates, and Thank You to everybody! Stay tuned for more comments next time! I'm outta here! JJ