The Very Best of Bob James
Cat No.: SALVODCD208
Released: April 13th 2009
“I was the first DJ to ever use Bob’s ‘Mardi Gras’ as a breakbeat and it quickly became a must-have cutting record for DJs in later years. It’s one of the strange and great things about hip hop that a cool jazz guy like Bob James became a cult figure within our culture. Tracks like ‘Mardi Gras’ and ‘Nautilus’ have a unique sound and have always been an essential part of the hip hop DJ’s toolbox.” Grandmaster Flash
“This is the perfect Bob James collection. Bob James is one of the reasons why we created the Nuyorican Soul Project. I’d recommend this collection to all music lovers – this will be an encyclopaedia for us all! The collection is dope!! Louie Vega – (MAW/Elements Of Life)
Bob James is a gifted pianist, writer and arranger with a thirst for adventure and over three dozen solo albums to his name. He is a jazz giant who has achieved critical and commercial success with a wide variety of musical approaches and this collection brings together his finest recordings – for CTI, his own label Tappan Zee, Warner Bros and, most recently, Koch Records – as a solo artist and in collaboration with talented friends. Laid back, funky, spirited and soothing, this is the very best of Bob James spanning the period 1974 to 2007.
Louie Vega and Kenny “Dope” Gonzalez’s Nuyorican Soul covered his “Nautilus” on their genre-straddling ’96 album; “Angela” will be familiar to fans of the show “Taxi” which first brought the talents of Danny De Vito and Andy Kaufman to the world; and snippets of a huge number of Bob James originals have been sampled by hip hop and soul aristocracy with everyone from NWA to Public Enemy to Mary J Blige to DJ Shadow appropriating pieces in tune-building exercises over the years. In fact Bob James is arguably the most sampled jazzer of all time.
Other examples of major artists sampling Bob James include Eric B & Rakim, Kruder & Dorfmeister, Run DMC , Beastie Boys, Missy Elliott, Massive Attack, Nas, KRS One and De La Soul.
This collection features Bob’s version of “Feel Like Making Love”. Roberta Flack’s classic 1974 version featured none other than – Bob James. On “Maputo he’s joined by alto colossus David Sanborn. Other musician’s featured across the 2 CDs include: Ralph MacDonald, Steve Gadd, Grover Washington Jnr., Hubert Laws, Ron Carter, Earl Klugh, Harvey Mason, Marcus Miller and Randy & Michael Brecker,
Bob James has played piano since the age of 4 and his been honing his skills for the subsequent 65 years. He was signed to Mercury Records by Quincy Jones and released his debut in 1963 before joining the great Sarah Vaughan as her musical director. After leaving the ‘road’ and settling in New York he joined the fledgling CTI label as the in-house arranger eventually recording under his own name, since when Bob James built the reputation that is celebrated here on “The Very Best Of Bob James”.
Packaged in a deluxe digi-pack with a 32-page full colour booklet including many rare photos, extensive notes and an interview with Bob James conducted last year by respected journalist Charles Waring.