One voice is all it takes. The right vocalist can make you fall in love at first listen, elicit tears, or bring you back to a different era altogether. A microphone and a stage remain the only necessities. That holds true for New York-based soul singer, songwriter, and Broadway chanteuse Morgan James.
Her latest studio album is her first as an independent artist, and “Reckless Abandon” is her most personal outing yet. Morgan assumed co-writing duties on all twelve tracks and sang all her own background vocals. The album is stocked with lush horns and harmonies, and stretches limbs between genres for a sound all its own. From the Rufus inspired soul swagger of the opening track “Up In Smoke”, to the delicious R&B slow jam “You Thought Not”, to the infectious soulful pop of “Unworthy”, MJ takes the listener into her new era of freedom and empowerment.
On her full-length debut for Epic Records, “Hunter,” she cast an unbreakable spell with a powerhouse voice, theatrical swing, and a soulful poise. “Hunter” boasts a powerful and personal rendition of Prince’s “Call My Name” (reached Top 15 at Urban AC radio and #1 most added). Morgan assumed co-writing duties on eight of the collection’s eleven tracks and performed all of her own background vocals and harmonies. From the empowering farewell of “Fed Up On You” to the mournful rumination of “Say The Words”, or the soulful duet with Grammy Award winner Robert Glasper, “Let Me Keep You”, she continually bares it all—both emotionally and musically.
In addition to “Reckless Abandon” and “Hunter”, Morgan has released a live tribute to Nina Simone, “Morgan James Live” (Epic Records), as well as an EP featuring some of her fan’s favorite covers, “YouTube Sessions”. She also recorded a tribute to Joni Mitchell’s seminal “Blue”, which can be found on iTunes and YouTube. (She can also be heard on countless theatre and concept soundtracks). Morgan is proud to note that no vocal tuning of any kind has been used on any of her albums.
Morgan’s music videos have accumulated more than 80 million views (and climbing). With viral sensation Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox, Morgan toured the US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. She is currently on the road touring with her band!