For any true music listener, there is always room for a little Jazz in their expanded music collection. In a world where club sounds, Mumble rap, and autotune reign the current landscape, it is just nice to hear something as authentic and soulful as the new album by Huntsville, Alabama’s James Bowman III. ‘Things On My My Mind’
I think that anyone listening to Bowman’s new album is going to appreciate the smooth depth to be found in his voice; and opening up with the instantly infectious sound of his heartfelt song ‘She’s An Original’ proves my point exactly. I thought it opened much like an old school Jodeci song, and then quickly moved into the realm of Bill Withers, Bobby Caldwell and Michael Buble’.
The sentiments found in the song are as grateful as the title, and for many, this song will find itself perfectly placed among those real couples in love.
Moving on through the beautifully crafted ten-song album we come to the albums emotionally charged lead single ‘Prayin’ For Me’. It is a song that wears its proverbial heart on its sleeve, which to be honest, can be said about both this album and Jazz in general. It is a funky, thoughtful, and filled with faith-filled lyrics aimed at shining a light on being grateful for it all. As far as lead singles go, this one has all the hallmarks of song worth adding to your playlist.
‘I’m Giving You Back Your Glory’ is a sunny feeling track that acts as a diary entry for James Bowman III to the source of his inspiration and artistic abilities. It is an open letter about his faith and the success of overcoming the ego. Shining with horns, soulful keys, and serene backing female vocals, I’m Giving You Back Your Glory’ would be my personal choice for his next single to release.
The final songs on the album are unique reimagining’s of old favorites, most notably, a version of ‘Amazing Grace’ that hits you right in the feels. The organ and piano played at the beginning are perfectly matched by that wonderful voice that James Bowman III has access to. It takes its time, without rushing the to the best parts, and the payoff is an a beautiful one.
For many listeners of Jazz music, what James Bowman III has crafted here is going to find its place naturally among the other Jazz and Soul artists that they listen to. It is an album that respectfully takes its cues from the days of Motown Funk, the era of true R&B, and of course, the current vibe of Jazz.
I would hope that anyone looking to hear something perfect to play on those evening with a glass of wine and loved one close, would choose to pick this album up and give it a listen.