Monday, 15 September 2008

Bob James - Sign Of The Times


During the 1970s, Bob James played a major role in turning fusion jazz more mainstream. "Angela", the instrumental theme from the sitcom Taxi, is probably Bob James' most well-known work to date, He is also well-known for the fusion classic "Westchester Lady", from the album Bob James Three.

For their first joint album release, One on One, Earl Klugh and Bob James received a Grammy award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance of 1981. James is the founding member of smooth jazz supergroup Fourplay and is a Yamaha Artist.

Very influenced by pop and movie music, James has often featured soloists, who add a jazz touch to his sound (most notably Grover Washington, Jr.). While best known for his fusion sound, James began In 1962, recording a bop-ish trio set for Mercury, and three years later his album for ESP was quite avant-garde, with electronic tapes used for effects. After a period with Sarah Vaughan (1965-1968), he became a studio musician, appearing with Stanley Turrentine and Milt Jackson on the 1972 album Cherry and with Turrentine on his following album Don't Mess with Mister T. (1973), and that same year was arranging and working as a producer for CTI. In 1974, James recorded his first purely commercial effort as a leader; he later made big-selling albums for his own Tappan Zee label, Columbia, and Warner Bros., including collborations with Earl Klugh and David Sanborn.


Bob James - Sign Of The Times, 1981

1. HYPNOTIQUE
2. THE STEAMIN' FEELIN'
3. ENCHANTED FOREST
4. UNICORN
5. SIGN OF THE TIMES
6. LOVE POWER
7. BODY AND SOUL (Bonus Track)

Audio CD (October 17, 1995)
Original Release Date: 1981
Number of Discs: 1
Label: Warner Bros / Wea
ASIN: B000002N0L

Musical Magic Again!, October 7, 2002
By James R. Prater (Cleveland Tn.)

For his ninth contemporary jazz release, Bob James brings in the multitalented Rod Temperton, and an all-star vocal cast including Patti Austin, Lani Groves, Major Holley, Luther Vandross, and many others for what only can be described as pure musical magic. The macabre "Hypnotique" with its unintelligible vocals is the ultimate "daytime nightmare". The tempo picks up on the funky "The Steamin' Feeling". We are transported to magical lands with the dreamy "Enchanted Forest". Spyro Gyra frontman Jay Beckenstein shows his stuff on "Unicorn". Bob shows amazing dexterity on both the acoustic piano and Oberheim polyphonic synth. The title song features the vocal cast, as well as some interesting sound effects by Tabby Andriello. Major Holley's vocal solo is doubled by a bowed acoustic bass. "Love Power" (a Bob James original), again features the vocal ensemble plus guitarist Steve Khan, and a sultry solo by Grover Washington, Jr. Missing from this reissue is the original back cover from the vinyl LP, as well as the musician credits.

(Amazon)

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Bob James (born December 25, 1939 in Marshall, Missouri) is a two-time Grammy Award-winning smooth jazz keyboardist, arranger and producer.

During the 1970s, Bob James played a major role in turning fusion jazz more mainstream. "Angela", the instrumental theme from the sitcom Taxi, is probably Bob James' most well-known work to date, He is also well-known for the fusion classic "Westchester Lady", from the album Bob James Three.

For their first joint album release, One on One, Earl Klugh and Bob James received a Grammy award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance of 1981. James is the founding member of smooth jazz supergroup Fourplay and is a Yamaha Artist.

Very influenced by pop and movie music, James has often featured soloists, who add a jazz touch to his sound (most notably Grover Washington, Jr.). While best known for his fusion sound, James began In 1962, recording a bop-ish trio set for Mercury, and three years later his album for ESP was quite avant-garde, with electronic tapes used for effects. After a period with Sarah Vaughan (1965-1968), he became a studio musician, appearing with Stanley Turrentine and Milt Jackson on the 1972 album Cherry and with Turrentine on his following album Don't Mess with Mister T. (1973), and that same year was arranging and working as a producer for CTI. In 1974, James recorded his first purely commercial effort as a leader; he later made big-selling albums for his own Tappan Zee label, Columbia, and Warner Bros., including collborations with Earl Klugh and David Sanborn.

Discography

* Bold Conceptions (1962)
* Explosions (1965)
* One (1974)
* Two (1975)
* Three (1976)
* BJ 4 (1977)
* Heads (1977)
* Touchdown (1978)
* Lucky Seven (1979)
* One on One (jazz album),(with Earl Klugh) (1979)
* H (1980)
* All Around the Town {live) (1981)
* Sign of the Times (1981)
* Two of a Kind (w, Earl Klugh) (1981)
* Hands Down (1982)
* Foxie (1983)
* The Genie (1983)
* Rameau (1984)
* 12 (1984)
* The Swan (1984)
* Obsession (1986)
* Double Vision (w, David Sanborn) (1986)
* Ivory Coast (1988)
* Scarlatti Dialogues (1988)
* J.S. Bach: Concerto for Two and Three Pianos (1989)
* Grand Piano Canyon (1990)
* Cool (w, Earl Klugh) (1992)
* Restless (1994)
* Flesh and Blood (w, daughter Hilary James) (1995)
* Joined at the Hip (w, Kirk Whalum) (1996)
* Straight Up (1996)
* Playin' Hooky (1997)
* Joy Ride (1999)
* Dancing on the Water (2000)
* Restoration: the Best of Bob James (2001)
* Anthology (2001)
* Morning, Noon and Night (2002)
* Take It From the Top (2003)
* Hi-Fi (2003)
* Essential 24 smooth jazz classics (2005)
* Urban Flamingo (2006)
* Angels of Shanghai (2007)

With Fourplay

* Fourplay (1991)
* Between the Sheets (1993)
* Elixir (1995)
* The Best of Fourplay (1997)
* 4 (1998)
* Snowbound (1999)
* Yes, Please (2000)
* Heartfelt (2002)
* Journey (2004)
* X (2006)
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