“Sway” with James Francies

A track from the pianist’s debut album, ‘Flight,’ out this Friday.

This Friday, pianist James Francies will make his full-length debut on Blue Note with Flight. Before that, though, you can enjoy “Sway,” which he released late last week.

A native Houstonian, Francies looked to his home city for the “Sway” line-up: Drummer Jeremy Dutton, guitarist Mike Moreno and bassist Burniss Travis round out the quartet. Like the rest of the album, the explorative track was produced by Derrick Hodge.

In his career so far, Francies has played with the likes of Pat Metheny, Chris Potter and Terrace Martin, and dipped his toes into hip hop and R&B by gigging with Lauryn Hill and Common, and logging studio time for Chance the Rapper on the hit single, “No Problem.” He also counts Questlove as a mentor and collaborator, and occasionally performs with The Roots on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.


That’s a hell of a resume for any musician, let alone one who’s only 23 years old (!). To get a sense of what Francies has in store with Flight, listen to “Sway” below:

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