James Francies signs to Blue Note in a move that underlines the enduring Robert Glasper inspirational influence on contemporary US jazz
A lot has been happening in the world of jazz and hip-hop keyboardist James Francies. Just last week marlbank reported that the 23-year-old Houstonian is in the trio of the great saxophonist Chris Potter who in a bolt from the blue has up sticked to English label Edition, who have recently enhanced their label by appointing highly respected ex-Serious producer Amy Pearce and savvy Universal UK jazz marketing guy Mike Bartlett, to join the roster of the decade-old label, a big move for the ex-Dan ace Potter who splits from a continuous association in recent years with ECM with whom he five years ago released his enduringly regarded masterpiece The Sirensand has remained with since.
Francies, like Grammy winning labelmate Robert Glasper has strong hip-hop credentials and like Glasper as well as hailing from Houston later in New York studied at the New School.
Francies, above with Potter, has influences listed by Blue Note in scattergun fashion as to include Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Mulgrew Miller, Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum and Taylor Eigsti among others and has toured with Chris Dave, is more obscurely known to ship up with his own side band called Kinetic, and sometimes plays in the house band of much watched US TV fixture The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Flight, produced by the Glasperian and another past Blue Note signing Derrick Hodge will be released in the latter half of October and finds Potter as a big name guest. The track which you can listen to above to check Francies out to be going on with is called ‘Dreaming’ drawn from the album.