Pianist James Francies brings not only rocket-fueled technique and energy to his Derrick Hodge-produced Blue Note debut, but also nuance, sonic adventurism, and stylistic breadth. The latest in a line of prodigious jazz talents to emerge from Houston (including Jason Moran and Robert Glasper), Francies tends toward music of epic gestures, with restless, asymmetrical rhythms informed by hip-hop and futuristic R&B (handled expressively by bassist Burniss Travis II and drummer Jeremy Dutton). His acoustic piano and keyboards mesh beautifully with the vibraphone of Joel Ross, the guitar of fellow Houstonian Mike Moreno, and the tenor saxophone of Chris Potter—players of unmatched brilliance who tackle Francies’ adventurous writing with composure and fire in turn. The three vocal numbers are strong and varied: Chris Turner on the ethereal “Dreaming,” Kate Kelsey-Sugg on Chaka Khan's “Ain’t Nobody” (the sole cover), the uncannily individual YEBBA on the piano-voice duet “My Day Will Come.”

Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada