2

Boney James: The Beat

Jeff Winbush By

Sign in to view read count
In the crowded field of 50,000 smooth jazz saxophones, only a handful are blessed with a distinctive sound of their own and if Boney James isn't first in his class he should be high on the list. James can play with both raw power and gentle, soulful restraint. There's more restraint than power on The Beat, the 14th album by the New York-born saxophonist, but James has always opted for underplaying a bit than roof-raising soloing.

James' background in soul music playing keyboards and sax for Morris Day, the Isley Brothers, and Bobby Caldwell has weighed heavily in his fondness for R'n'B and hip-hop, but The Beat drops a few hints of his love of Latin rhythms as well best evidenced in a laconic version of Stevie Wonder's "Don't You Worry About A Thing" and on the boppish "Batucada (The Beat)" where James works out with his frequent collaborator, trumpeter Rick Braun. Though they won't remind anyone of Miles Davis and John Coltrane, the James and Braun pairings tend to bring out the most purely "jazz" moments in each other.

It wouldn't be a Boney James record without a few guest vocalists dropping by and The Beat is no exception with three; "Missing You" featuring guitarist Jarius Mozee and Abi Mancha's nicely understated whisper, "Maker of Love" gives Raheem DeVaughn an opportunity to give praise to an attractive lady's attributes, and Natalie "The Floacist" Stewart gives the gents equal time on "The Midas (This Is Why)."

If you aren't already a member of Team Boney, The Beat may not be the release to get you to sign up. For the faithful who helped propel the album to the top of the charts James remains a formidable force in contemporary jazz, standing at the top and giving his competition an even steeper hill to climb.

Track Listing: Don’t You Worry About A Thing; Sunset Boulevard; Missing You; Batucada (The Beat); Maker of Love; Mari’s Song; Powerhouse; The Midas (This Is Why); Acalento (Lullaby); You Can Count On Me

Personnel: Boney James: soprano, tenor and alto saxophone, flute, keyboards; Brandon Coleman: keyboards (1, 2); Vinnie Colaiuta: drums (1, 9, 10); Lenny Castro: percussion (1-4, 6-10); Rob Bacon: guitar (2, 4, 7, 10); Dewayne “Smitty” Smith: bass (2, 10); Omari Williams: drums (2, 4, 7); Jarius Mozee: guitar, keyboards, programming (3); Abi Mancha: vocals (3); Tim Carmon: keyboards, keyboard bass (4, 6, 8); Alex Al: bass (4, 6, 7, 9); Rick Braun: trumpet (4); Raheem DeVaughn: vocals (5); Phil Davis: keyboards, programming (5); Mark Stephens: keyboards (7, 9); Natalie “The Floacist” Stewart: vocals (8)

Title: The Beat | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Concord Music Group


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio CD/LP/Track Review Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Moment Frozen CD/LP/Track Review Moment Frozen
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Minor Step CD/LP/Track Review Minor Step
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 19, 2017
Read A Meeting Of Spirits CD/LP/Track Review A Meeting Of Spirits
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 18, 2017
Read First Light CD/LP/Track Review First Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 18, 2017
Read "Mass" CD/LP/Track Review Mass
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: November 2, 2016
Read "The Other Shore" CD/LP/Track Review The Other Shore
by John Sharpe
Published: September 26, 2016
Read "My Foolish Heart" CD/LP/Track Review My Foolish Heart
by Henning Bolte
Published: February 3, 2017
Read "The Day After" CD/LP/Track Review The Day After
by David A. Orthmann
Published: February 14, 2017
Read "The Sky Remains" CD/LP/Track Review The Sky Remains
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 4, 2017
Read "Transparent Water" CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 29, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.