José James – Trouble

José James, and this particular track, is one of those gems found in my weekly Spotify discovery list. Thanks Spotify! Anyway, José James is a Jazz singer but turned to a more RnB and Neo-Soul style with his Blue Note debut record No Beginning No End which contains this week’s track Trouble. To get an idea about the entire record and James’ past, I highly recommend you to check out the review Pursuing Many Paths to Find His Own in the New York Times.

I have no verification, but the bass on this track might come from the venerable Pino Palladino. In the vein of D’Angelo and J Dilla, it features a relaxing laid back rhythm during the main riff played by drums and bass and propels forward during verse and chorus incorporating nice eighth note anticipations. Unlike most RnB and Soul which tends to be harmonically simple, Trouble features an interesting almost Jazz-like chord progression over four different parts. Here is the main riff from the entire transcription:

Based on this transcription, I made an out-of-focus rendition with a badass Bruce Lee shirt:

P.S.: I forgot to mention last time but all the YouTube videos are served without tracking them you!