Piñata Music Series: José James + Benny Sings
Warmth, groove, elasticity, sensuality… all this is shared by the musicians of the American José James and the Dutchman Benny Sings. Soul, jazz, funk, pop or r’n’b, with very positive vibes. A night to daydream. And even to dance.
José James is too small for jazz. He has always said that his scene is too conservative. Which is like a straitjacket. That is why he has always liked to expand on compositions that also live from soul, hip hop or spoken word, despite recognizing that John Coltrane or Billie Holiday are sacred. But also Marvin Gaye, Terry Callier or Gil Scott-Heron. Or even much later projects, linked to electronics, like Basement Jaxx or Jazzanova, with whom he has collaborated on some of his albums. It could be said that this North American musician is music with black roots with groove and sensuality, without too many suffixes or prefixes. And so must his label, Blue Note, in which he has published his last five works, and in whose New York club he was performing for a whole week in the summer of 2022.
Dutchman Tim van Berkestijn, who is the real name of Benny Sings, trained at the prestigious Royal Conservatory in The Hague, but from the moment he started playing bass in the hip hop outfit Abstract Dialect in Rotterdam, he began to be clear that he would not marry orthodoxy or labels. If you’re not sure, all you have to do is listen to the delicious Young Hearts (2023), his eighth album, recorded in Los Angeles: radiant pop, sunny funk and contagious soft rock in ten immaculate songs, with which this Mac DeMarco collaborator , Rex Orange County and Mayer Hawthorne earns his PhD as one of Europe’s warmest and most welcoming songwriters.