All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

488

Bob James: Urban Flamingo

Tracey Nolan By

Sign in to view read count
Bob James has never decided whether he's a jazz musician or an R&B musician. He doesn't have to—he can be both, simultaneously, playing funky, infectious tunes that are melodic and groove hard. Urban Flamingo, his most recent effort, could be written off simply as "lifestyle music," or smooth jazz doomed to become background ambience at wine tastings and on weekend boat trips. But pay more attention to James' compositions and soloing and you'll find there is much more at work here.

Urban Flamingo features James with his Michigan-based quintet of bassist Al Turner, drummer Ron Otis, guitarist Perry Hughes and saxophonist David McMurray. The disc opens with "Choose Me," which has James jamming over the chord changes of a funky blues. While the primarily electric instrumentation and McMurray's often syrupy saxophone playing will undoubtedly turn off mainstream-minded listeners, they will appeal to those who are looking for a pop or R&B-oriented jazz sound.

Of the many guests present on the disc, highlights include the leader's daughter, Hilary James, who takes a pleasant vocal turn on "Lay Down with You," which she co-wrote; and bassist Nathan East (of James' Fourplay supergroup).

The hands-down highlight of the disc is "Niles Ahead, which harkens back to James' work from the 1970s. This acoustic tour de force allows James and his rhythm section the chance to really show off their jazz chops. It's a pity there isn't more of the same on Urban Flamingo. This piece leaves me hoping that James will consider an album of acoustic tunes in the near future.


Track Listing: Choose Me; Miles A Head; Skidaway; Urban Flamingo; Lay Down With You; Fresh Start; Make It More Blue; Bobary Coast; Endless Time; Wingapo.

Personnel: Bob James: piano, synth; Al Turner: bass; Billy Kilson: drums; Bridgette Bryant: vocals; David McMurray: flute, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone; Earl Klugh: guitar; Hilary James: keyboards & vocals; Jack Lee: Guitar; James Genus: bass; John Pondel: guitar; Kevin DiSimone: keyboards & Vocals; Louis Pragasm: drums; Nathan East: bass; Perry Hughes: guitar; Ron Otis: drums; Wayne Gerard: guitar.

Title: Urban Flamingo | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: KOCH Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read New Hope CD/LP/Track Review
New Hope
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 23, 2018
Read The Nobuki Takamen Trio CD/LP/Track Review
The Nobuki Takamen Trio
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 23, 2018
Read Light Of Love CD/LP/Track Review
Light Of Love
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 23, 2018
Read Heaven Steps To Seven CD/LP/Track Review
Heaven Steps To Seven
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 23, 2018
Read In The Blue Light CD/LP/Track Review
In The Blue Light
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 23, 2018
Read Dreams And Other Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Dreams And Other Stories
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2018
Read "A New Beginning" CD/LP/Track Review A New Beginning
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 23, 2018
Read "Road Songs For Lovers" CD/LP/Track Review Road Songs For Lovers
by Doug Collette
Published: September 30, 2017
Read "Vessel in Orbit" CD/LP/Track Review Vessel in Orbit
by Don Phipps
Published: January 19, 2018
Read "Dr. Quixotic’s Traveling Exotics" CD/LP/Track Review Dr. Quixotic’s Traveling Exotics
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 11, 2018
Read "Music For Empty Halls" CD/LP/Track Review Music For Empty Halls
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 17, 2018
Read "Without A Trace" CD/LP/Track Review Without A Trace
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 4, 2018