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Boney James

A solid saxophonist whose style falls on the R&B and pop side of jazz, Boney James is a consistent best-seller who can always be relied upon to put on a colorful live show. Born James Oppenheim, he grew up in New Rochelle, New York. The future Boney James studied clarinet when he was eight, switching to saxophone two years later -- the instrument which began to show his heavy influence from Grover Washington, Jr. When he was 15, his family moved to Los Angeles. James was soon playing in a fusion band (Line One) that was strong enough to open for Flora Purim and the Yellowjackets. After a year attending UC Berkeley, he transferred to UCLA so he could continue playing with the band. He earned a degree in history but became a full-time musician after graduation, doubling on keyboards.

In 1985, James went on the road as a keyboardist with Morris Day, and eventually convinced Day that he should be playing saxophone instead. He spent four years with Day and became an in-demand guest musician on tenor, alto, soprano, and flute, playing with Randy Crawford, Sheena Easton, the Isley Brothers, Bobby Caldwell, and others. (He picked up his nickname while on tour with Crawford; after mentioning to a keyboardist that he was running out of food money, the musician replied that if he ate any less, he'd have to be called Boney James.)

The saxophonist made his debut as a leader with Trust in 1992 (Spindletop), which earned him a contract with Warner Bros. two years later. While there, he recorded many popular dates, including Backbone, Seduction, Boney's Funky Christmas, Sweet Thing, Shake It Up, Ride, and Pure. In 2006, Boney made the move to Concord Records and released Shine, then in 2009, Send One Your Love. One year later, while driving home after an appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival, James was rear-ended by another vehicle. The accident totaled James' car and left him with a fractured jaw and two missing teeth -- injuries that could have ended his playing career. He recuperated, however, and in 2011 he released Contact, an album whose title referred to the profound effect the accident had on his life and career.

James re-signed with Concord in 2012. One year later, he released The Beat, an album that combined his love of R&B and Latin music. The set included guest appearances from Raheem DeVaughn and Floacist. James continued to mine his own musical history and dug further back to '80s and '90s R&B, hip-hop, and his contemporary jazz roots for Futuresoul. Released in 2015, it featured a smaller core of studio players and a guest spot from trumpeter Marquis Hill. The album debuted at number one on contemporary jazz charts and by the end of the year, it hit the top spot on the standard jazz albums chart. ~ Scott Yanow
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Futuresoul

1. Drumline

2. Vinyl

3. A Little Attitude

4. Watchu Gon' Do About It?

5. Either Way (Feat. Stokley)

6. Hand In Hand

7. Fortuneteller

8. The Moment

9. Futuresoul

10. Far From Home (Feat. Marquis Hill)

x

Track List: The Beat

1. Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing

2. Sunset Boulevard

3. Missing You

4. Batucada (The Beat)

5. Maker Of Love

6. Mari's Song

7. Powerhouse

8. The Midas (This Is Why)

9. Acalento (Lullaby)

10. You Can Count On Me

x

Track List: Contact

1. Contact

2. Close To You

3. Spin

4. When I Had The Chance

5. Cry

6. That Look On Your Face

7. Deep Time

8. I'm Waiting

9. There And Back

10. Everything Matters

x

Track List: Send One Your Love

1. Wanna Show U Sumthin'

2. Send One Your Love

3. Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart)

4. Touch

5. Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight

6. Hold On Tight

7. I'm Gonna Love You Just A Little More, Baby

8. City Of Light

9. Butter

10. I'll Be Good To You

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Track List: Pure

x

Track List: Ride

1. Heaven

2. Grand Central

3. RPM

4. Something Inside (feat. Dave Hollister)

5. So Beautiful

6. See What I'm Sayin'?

7. All About You

8. Ride (feat. Jaheim)

9. As You Are

10. This Is The Life

11. Bonus Track

x

Track List: Batucada (The Beat) (Single)

x

Track List: Either Way (Single)

5. Either Way (Feat. Stokley)

x

Track List: Maker Of Love (Single)

x

Track List: When I Had The Chance (Radio Single)

Comments

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Glad i have seen you live. Love your music Boney!
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You are the best in the world Boney James! ! I bought tickets to see you in Las Vegas in November. I will always love me some Boney James!
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Sounds like a dream from havean
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Whats better than...Send One Your Love! Lovin' it!
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I love you Boney! Too smooth~
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I love my Gospel music the most first Boney James smooth jazz is secondly
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WOW!
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Sexy baby! Work it!
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Honey u are the Best Ms Watkins love it
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Sweet and smooth as butter. That's what u r
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twinpowerone your music is endless Love for world thank'ssssss s s
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Awesome, Flawless, Beautiful, Soothing, what else can I say, no other like you
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Flawless, flawless and flawless!!!
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Boney James any night or afternoon of the week.
Sets the mood just right every night, the sound is outta sight.....20 1 6
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Mr.escobar is the s**t.
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Can't wait to see you in Raleigh, NC September 16 with Mr. Escobar on violin. Rock it!
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The MAN BJ
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This cut is an all time fav! Sexy and slow...Mr. James is takin' his time~
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Deep Tide...just strollin.... l o v i n ' this jam~
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Sexy....toe tappin...hea d boppin! I feel this jam!
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Boney, you are the ultimate sexyphonist of all time!
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arealwomen25
Seductive music, I love it!
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Smooth & Sultry, like an Aged Liqueur....
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Hi boney I love your music��
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dianchristy
Love his music ... I've shared his music with all my coworkers... . And I've bought all his albums... I'm the go to lady when anything new comes out... Hail to boney James
Report as inappropriate
The best saxophonist who can play well, and at the same time, put on a show that is second to none. His shows sell out in days because of his fast action in and out the stage and in the aisles!!
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Smooth Jazz. #Gerttown
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is truthfully belong to the royality of smooth jazz
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jamie
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gregory46727
Bony my name is Gregory Jackson please come back to Kansas City we love you here me and my wife have never missed your show outstanding Can't wait to see you here.
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Always love his music beautiful
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This song is awesome. I love the blend and the lyrics They all flow together.
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freeman.mark 6 2
Donald Byrd started it all Hello!!!!!!! ! !
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Excellent song! I love it. This song puts you in a great mood, and during this election year we all need it. Lt. Colonel Richard H. Keilig Jr.
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Very sexy smooth .
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Definitely one of my faves! Love his style!
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Boney James is one of my favorite jazz artist....so smooth
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Just saw him last night in concert...so awesome
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Okay!
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O
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Hello im someone who always loved jazz l learned to love the smoothness of it in 8th grade, it my days,keep it up.!
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grandmother1 9 5 6
King James
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He is my FAV
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Bad boy in his time each artist has his time to say there was no better.
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Listening is such an uplift of my spirit!
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Benay Pezant
totally love Boney James, wish I could find the CD Down to the Bone !
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I am a big fan of Boney James. Love his music!
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Thank you for your music, it is so inspiring, relaxing, love it
Report as inappropriate
Thank you, Mr James!
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James we love you in MI .
Show more

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