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Recensione album

By Three, Bob James — the pianist, composer, and arranger — was deep into jazz-funk. The five tracks here reflect his obsession with hard, danceable grooves that take as much from the soul-jazz book as they do his years with CTI. Using many of the same session players he bonded with at his former label — including Eric Gale, Hugh McCracken, Hubert Laws, Will Lee, and Harvey Mason — and a large host of stellar horn players (among them Lew Soloff and Jon Faddis), James offers five selections of simple but fun jazz-pop. On "One Mint Julep," Grover Washington's tenor goes head to head with James' Rhodes and synths. "Women of Ireland" is a solid take on the ballad with fine guitar work from Gale as a contrast to the watershed of strings. The laid-back, space groove contains another killer solo by Washington, while "Westchester Lady" borders on disco without ever falling headlong into it. The closer, "Jamaica Farewell," is another shimmering ballad with a whistle solo by Washington playing the melody. The faux-reggae rhythm and slippery bassline are the only things that keep it from slipping into a lightweight ether. Unfortunately, the Koch CD reissues do not contain the bonus track "Look Look." The remastered sound is welcome, though, and while the sound here is somewhat dated, the feel is timeless.


Nato(a): 25 dicembre 1939, Marshall, MO

Genere: Jazz

Anni di attività: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Bob James' recordings have practically defined pop/jazz and crossover during the past few decades. Very influenced by pop and movie music, James has often featured R&B-ish soloists (most notably Grover Washington, Jr.) who add a jazz touch to what is essentially an instrumental pop set. He actually started out in music going in a much different direction. In 1962, James recorded a bop-ish trio set for Mercury, and three years later his album for ESP was quite avant-garde, with electronic tapes...
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Three, Bob James
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