NPR

High Velocity And Control: Jazz Pianist James Francies Takes His First 'Flight'

The up-and-coming pianist has crossing boundaries, taking his jazz chops to hip-hop and pop sessions. Now, he's released his debut album.
Jazz pianist James Francies released his debut album, Flight, in Oct. 2018. Source: Jati Lindsay

Twenty-three-year-old jazz pianist James Francies has his musical fingerprints all over the place. From leading his own group at 2019'sWinter Jazzfest in New York City to playing shows in Tokyo with guitar legend Pat Metheny, the current pace of Francies's life is constantly in motion.

"It just feels like you're on a plane," Francies says. "Four thousand feet, traveling six hundred miles an hour."

Last fall, Blue Note Records released Flight, Francies's debut album.

Francies's reputation as

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR2 min read
Wayfair Employees Protest Sale Of Furniture To Migrant Detention Center
"This is the first time I felt like I needed to hit the streets to make sure I was proud of my company, to make sure I was happy to work for them," employee Madeline Howard said at the walkout.
NPR3 min read
Champagne, Caviar And No Shame At All: Remembering Judith Krantz
The novelist, who died last week at 91, was often slammed by critics as a frivolous sex-and-shopping writer. But her luxuries were meticulously researched and her sex scenes gloriously shameless.
NPR2 min read
Senate Passes $4.6 Billion Emergency Border Funding Bill Signalling Battle With House
The sweeping 84-8 vote came minutes after the Senate handily rejected the House's humanitarian assistance bill, signalling what will likely be a contentious battle to reconcile the competing bills.