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Artist: Boney James                                                 Album: Contact

Josh Ballou
The Broadside

Legendary sax-man Boney James is back with his 13th studio album, “Contact.” Boney James broke onto the jazz scene in the early ‘90s and has been going strong ever since his debut album.

Last summer James was in a car accident, which sent shockwaves through the jazz world because he broke his jaw and it wasn’t clear if he would be able to continue to play the instrument that made him a household name.

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Thankfully he healed and after several sax-free weeks, James was back at it. Now at Verve, a label known for strong ties to the jazz world, James is right where he needs to be as he gets ready to hit his career’s 20 year-mark.

“Contact” is true James. Smooth, emotional contempary jazz with a touch of soul. James always features the talents of other artists who complement his sax skills and “Contact” is no exception.

The lead single features former Destiny’s Child member, Letoya Luckett. The album is also blessed by vocals from Mario, Heather Headley and Donell Jones.

James’ style is recognizable, enjoyable and has been consistent since his first album in 1992. His unique riffs and approach make for an identifiable sound that fans know to listen for.

“Contact,” his first release with Verve, offers some noticeable restraint and a heavy reliance on the vocal. James has been criticized and praised for his inclusion of vocalists and he has been noted as saying he never considered himself a jazz artist.

He could arguably be called an instrumentalist who offers a wonderful backdrop for other artists to intertwine with his soulful  “saxxy” ways.

Album highlights include the current single, “When I Had the Chance”, ”Spin” and the title track “Contact.”

James remains masterful and shows no signs of slowing down. “Contact” is a solid project from start to finish offering great sax and good vocals. Change it up and check “Contact,” and let me know what you think.

If you like Boney James you should also check out Euge Groove, Rick Braun, Norman Brown, Brian Culbertson, The Rippingtons and get your jazz fix addressed.

Josh Ballou can be reached at jballou@cocc.edu

Other Albums by Boney James

    • “Send One Your Love” (2009)

 

    • “Christmas Present” (2007)

 

    • “Shine” (2006)

 

    • “Pure” (2004)

 

    • “Ride” (2001)

 

    • “Shake it Up w/ RickBraun” (2000)

 

    • “Body Language” (1999)

 

    • “Sweet Thing” (1998)

 

    • “Boney’s Funky Christmas” (1996)

 

    • “Seduction” ( 1995)

 

    • “Backbone” (1994)

 

  • “Trust” (1992)

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