The Artistry of… James Francies

The direction is forward. The Houston-born James Francies is a member of an elite vanguard of young jazz musicians who hold the torch handed to them by the generations before. They hold the torch high but very much in their own way — in their own style. Like a slight, jaunty tip of a corner of a hat worn just that way to make it cooler.

When artists are discovered or promoted as the next and the new, all too often an extensive body of “before” work gets put on a back burner. They’re dynamic creative pieces that are important foundations and building blocks of the artistry of the artist. It’s time spent in the trenches and as integral parts of other’s creativity.

Speaking about his Blue Note recording Flight, Francies explains that he wanted it to have “its own sonic identity.” His experiences outside of jazz have helped him with “assembling sounds, consistency, delivery and the ability to support,” he says.

“This record is for everybody.”

I say his music is for everybody, too.

The Artistry of… is a weekly series that reflects on the passion and essence of an artist. It airs Wednesday evenings on Dinner Jazz with John Devenish.