A Soulful Christmas with Jose James & the Jazz Orchestra in concert


copyright Jelmer de Haas

copyright Jelmer de Haas

Last night I went to the first of 5 concerts of Jose James & the Jazz Orchestra of the concertgebouw. An evening well spent and a must-see if you love soul, funk and jazz. It was amazing! Jose James and the Jazz Orchestra are touring the Netherlands with their Merry Jazzmas concert series in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Nijmegen, Den Haag and Eindhoven from 7-11 December. Jose James is usually mentioned in the same category as D’Angelo as his music is a crossover between hip-hop, jazz and soul.

copyright Jelmer de Haas

copyright Jelmer de Haas

copyright Jelmer de Haas

copyright Jelmer de Haas

copyright Govert Driessen

copyright Govert Driessen

copyright Jelmer de Haas

copyright Jelmer de Haas

Besides the popular Christmas songs, such as the Christmas Song by Mel Thormé and Let it Snow, he also delivers songs from his latest album yesterday I had the blues. The album is a tribute to singer Billie Holiday.

Although I loved his Christmas songs performances, he blew me away with the songs Body and Soul, and his popular hit Trouble. Moreover, I think he is best in singing soulful balads which bring out his low and warm voice best.

jose james 5

copyright Govert Driessen

Programme

Christmas Medley
Let It Snow (J. Green)
God Bless The Child (B. Holiday/A. Herzog arr. D. Mackrel)
What A Little Moonlight Can Do (H.M. Woods arr. H. Meutgeert)
Body And Soul (J. Green arr. R. Horsting)
Jingle Bells (J. Pierpont arr. H. Meutgeert)

Winter Wonderland (D. Smith/F. Bernard)
Equinox (J. Coltrane arr. R. Horsting)
Trouble (J. James/S. Jacoby arr. R. Horsting)
Little Bird (Jazzanova arr. R. Horsting)
The Christmas Song (M. Torme
Come To My Door (E. King arr. R. Horsting)

copyright Govert Driessen

copyright Govert Driessen

I also loved watching Dennis Mackrel who was swinging and directing but also a perfect host.
For each concert JOC writes special big band arrangements. Likewise for the series Merry Jazz Mas. Compositions of the soloist José James were rearranged by chief conductor Dennis Mackrel. Mackrel describes the process as follows: “To create a package for the JOC is like cooking with a rack full of spices. All musicians bring their own flavor to the mix, bringing you as arranger the right balance. ”

Monday 7 December: Het Concertgebouw, Amsterdam
Tuesday 8 December: de Doelen, Rotterdam
Wednesday 9 December: Cinemec, Nijmegen
Thursday 10 December: Zuiderstrandtheater, Den Haag
Friday 11 December: Muziekgebouw Frits Philips, Eindhoven

Tickets and info: http://www.jazzorchestra.nl/

Watch the promo video below.

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