Bob James, Instrumental and Smooth jazz Artist
Bob James started playing the piano at the age of 4, and is considered one of the progenitors of the smooth jazz genre. Meet jazz pianist/keyboardist, music arranger and producer – Bob James
Born in Marshall, Missouri, USA
Genre: Jazz, Smooth Jazz, Jazz Fusion, Crossover Jazz
The career of Bob James is long, varied and continues to evolve at every turn. From his first days in Marshall, Missouri, the music of Bob James has captivated audiences throughout the world. Discovered by Quincy Jones at the Notre Dame Jazz Festival in 1963, James recorded his first solo album, Bold Conceptions, that year for Mercury Records. 58 albums and innumerable awards would follow through five decades. He honed his skills working with Creed Taylor, working on albums for artists like Hank Crawford, Grover Washington, Jr, among others. While with CTI, James found great popular success overseeing significant hits for Paul Simon, Neil Diamond, Maynard Ferguson, and Kenny Loggins.
In 1974, James finally recorded his own album, One, which launched a lifelong career of recording and performing live. After three more albums, James began his own label, Tappan Zee Records. This allowed James to spend more time in the studio, focusing on his own creative works. It was during this time that he recorded his own gold seller, Touchdown, which included his composition, “Angela”, the instrumental theme from the sitcom ‘Taxi’, and possibly James’ best know work. Bob composed all the original music used in that television series for its entire run. One On One, the first in three collaborations with Earl Klugh, was awarded a Grammy in 1980 for Best Pop Instrumental Performance, and has sold over a million copies. During this time, James set the standard for the smooth jazz sound in the late 1970s. A different aspect of the musical talent of Bob James was demonstrated on his three classical albums recorded for the CBS Masterworks division, the first of which was Rameau released in 1984, and followed by ‘The Scarlatti Dialogues’ & Bach keyboard concertos with the Pekinel Sisters.
Biographical information courtesy of Bob James; for more reading see link below