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One of the most respected and best-selling instrumental artists of our time, BONEY JAMES furthers his longstanding reputation as a major force in both the worlds of contemporary jazz and R&B with his first concept album, Send One Your Love.
In the past, the saxophonist/producer/songwriter has recorded his albums by following a creative process that James calls “an organic flow. Usually I’ll cut the whole record and figure out afterwards what the vibe was.” That model has served James well. His unique gift of making the saxophone sing like a human voice has resulted in millions of albums sold over the past 16 years (including four that have been RIAA-certified gold). But for his new Concord CD, Send One Your Love, a sublime collection of ten seductive love songs, James decided to take a different path.
“This is a departure for me, to make a concept album,” says James. “I was looking to do something different on this record. Some people have very kindly said that my sound is seductive in the same way that Barry White and Marvin Gaye’s were. The great thing about some of their records was they could really set a romantic mood, so I decided to try to create my own make-out record, inspired by the soul music of the ’70s.”
James was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, and grew up in New Rochelle, New York, where he was influenced by Motown music, as well as the work of contemporary jazz saxophonist Grover Washington Jr. Later James honed his R&B chops while touring and doing session work with such stars as Morris Day, the Isley Brothers, Randy Crawford, Ray Parker, Jr., and Bobby Caldwell.
James made his debut as a solo artist with Trust in 1992, virtually creating the genre of urban jazz, which melds elements of contemporary jazz with hip-hop sensibilities. In addition to his string of 11 hit records, James has garnered several honors, including a Soul Train Award, two consecutive Grammy nominations for Best Pop Instrumental Album, and an NAACP Image Award nomination.
Of Send One Your Love, Boney says, “I wanted this to be an album, not just a collection of songs. I wanted to tell a romantic story from the beginning to the end.”
No doubt his legions of fans will agree he’s succeeded. James will be out on the road supporting the CD throughout 2009. Of his live show, the Philadelphia Tribune said, “To put it mildly, Boney James... was THE BOMB. An unbelievable technician who knows how to work a crowd... A tough act to follow.”
According to Boney, “The communal experience of playing live – that’s why I became a musician in the first place. It’s exciting and liberating. It never gets old for me.”