Bob James Talking Jazz
Bob James has had many incarnations in the jazz business. In the early ‘60’s, his piano playing was as far away from the mainstream as possible In fact, his first solo recordings (on the Mercury and ESP labels) were closer to music concrete than to jazz. But by the mid ‘60’s, after a stint as accompanist for singer Sarah Vaughan, he quickly became a fixture on the New York studio scene, backing up singers like Dion Warwicke and Roberta Flack, performing with Quincy Jones and scoring shows for Broadway. By the ‘70’s, after signing on as an arranger with the CTI label, he was well on his way to establishing himself as a producer of hit jazz recordings (for instrumentalists such as Grover Washington and Stanley Turrentine), when suddenly his own solo career took off. Today, he lives commuting distance from New York City and has returned to his first love, the acoustic piano, by way of the latest digital technology, the sequencers and synthesizers that are part and parcel of today's music industry armament. Bob James has a unique perspective on the jazz business, having seen all sides of this music, from his roles as player, producer and record executive.