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There’s those songs that just strike the right chord – the ones that each listener can attach to a certain memory… a single moment in time. For me, Bill Withers‘ 1977 hit “Lovely Day” brings to mind the summer of 2004 – a summer in which I went back in time to work on the set of the Fox Searchlight picture, “Roll Bounce” (yes, the one with Lil Bow Wow). The song was played frequently on the set, but also featured heavily in the film’s marketing. An iconic song that always captures a certain warmth, it’s been covered many times over the decades, and this week brings one of the best versions yet, with José James joining voices with Lalah Hathaway on new duet version.

Also featuring bassist Pino Palladino, keyboardist Kris Bowers, guitarist Brad Allen Williams, drummer Nate Smith, and a horn arrangement by trumpeter Takuya Kuroda, “Lovely Day” comes from James’ forthcoming album, Lean On Me – a loving tribute to the legendary singer and songwriter in honor of Withers’ 80th birthday year. The album was produced by Blue Note president Don Was and will be released on September 28. 

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José James – 2018-2019 Tour Dates:

  • Sept. 22 – Monterey Jazz Festival – Monterey, CA
  • Sept. 24 – GRAMMY Museum – Los Angeles, CA
  • Oct. 19 – Jefferson Center – Roanoke, VA
  • Oct. 20 – The Hamilton – Washington DC
  • Oct. 26 – Highline Ballroom – New York, NY
  • Oct. 31 – Billboard Live – Osaka, Japan
  • Nov. 1 – Billboard Live – Tokyo, Japan
  • Nov. 2 – Billboard Live – Tokyo, Japan
  • Nov. 7 – Troubadour – Los Angeles, CA
  • Nov. 8 – Garfield Theatre – La Jolla, CA
  • Nov. 15 – Arts Commons – Calgary, AB
  • Jan. 25 – Berklee Performance Center – Boston, MA
  • Jan. 26-Feb. 2 – Blue Note at Sea
  • Mar. 15 – Chicago Symphony Center – Chicago, IL

Top Photo Credit: Cherry Chill Will

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