We were pleasantly surprised when José James announced that his next album would be a tribute to the music of Erykah Badu. Our wait for On & On will soon be over when the set arrives on January 20th, but José still wants to give us a sneak peek of what to expect with the release of the set's latest single "Gone Baby, Don't Be Long."
The song, which was a standout track from Erykah's New Amerykah Part Two (Return Of The Ankh), was the cover we anticipated hearing most from the set as it perhaps was the closest in line with José's own style. His take doesn't disappoint. The song's instrumentation is turned jazzy, with piano supplying the main melody and some inventive bass and drum playing fleshing the rest of it out.
José, meanwhile, plays the song's role of a lover sending his beloved off into the world. He approaches the lyrics with a slightly passive styling that matches the song's resignation to the inevitable. His delivery still has a quiet passion to it, however, with his rich, jazzy vocal making the song his own. Add in an inspired saxophone solo from Ebban Dorsey and you have a track that definitely has our attention.
With just under two weeks until the arrival of On & On, we're antsy to hear how the other studio covers are going to sound. Thankfully, we won't have to wait too long. Check out "Gone Baby, Don't Be Long" when you press play below and be sure to pre-order On & On via Bandcamp so you can be among the first to hear José James' take on Erykah Badu's oeuvre.