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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. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Batucada (The Beat) (Single)

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Track List: Either Way (Single)

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Track List: Maker Of Love (Single)

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

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Boney James outstanding selection oughta quit it, "stupid sound" good as hell.Give to the Boney James Man the saxophonist of the greatest hell yeahhh!That' s wat up!:)
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corwolfna
'Saw him in concert at Jones Beach some years back, along with George Benson and Natalie Cole! What a show! Every one of his songs were nothing less than perfection! What an extraordinar y artist, indeed!
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Just saw him in concert last Thursday, all I can say is "wow, that's a #bad brother" !! I thoroughly enjoyed myself!
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imarrilynn1
Boney you know you a bad boy!
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OMG I had to stop and turn this cut up!!!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Boney is a bad boy always had been and will be !!!!
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This is one of my favorite artist been a fan for many years.
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shielab
i love his smooth jazz
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I love Boney James ever since the 80s, and love him now.
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I got Bonefied the first time at the Winter Park Jazz Festival and a couple of years later at Fiddlers Green. Great musician and great showmanship!
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I've been a serious Boney fan since seeing him live in Detroit back in summer of 2013. One of the best performances ever. Now he is my chill artist.
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Any of Boney James cds and some wine (sangria, white zin, or pinot grigio) always puts me in chill mode!
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Divine
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His music is good for the mind, soul, and body. Great way to relax.
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You are way out! out 'a sight! just right on...my mind travels...
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Love, love, love Boney James' music. It lifts me up while I'm working on my job.
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phildowning2 3
Saw him in concert at his alma mater, UCLA. What a showman...se e him live and...live
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Just like Butter...... . . .
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This is one that will bring you down when you are not having a good day. And put you on mental high out this world
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One the best SJ cuts ever. Thanks. And thanks also Pandora.
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zapa101211
I love every album/song this man Boney James! produces.
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Smooth Jazz from Boney James is always a pleasure.... r e l a x e s your mind and just makes you smile!!!
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ubm3
When you read the comments. it becomes evident that individuals appreciate the opportunity to be swept up in a sense of class.
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I love this man his music never let me down ❤️��
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A very talented artist, great to see live!
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Great remake Mr. James.
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Great remake. Bur miss the first 1:10 seconds of John's cut. Thanks Pandora.
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Yo, first time I saw you. It was,at Howard univ. Crampton. It was snowing. My wife now and I heard and saw you.this was about 2001. Every since you are our people.
Report as inappropriate
Funny thing, while I was stationed in the UK in '93 I first heard Boney. I thought he black because his earliest albums didn't show a picture of him...LoL! Found out I grew up across the Hudson River from his hometown.
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Boney keeps jazzing up the world; best you can get!
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I love mostly all smooth jazz, I've been digging Boney's music since 1996, he's a bad man!
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Boney James is a classic!
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Your music is heart feeling nice job,
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dragonlady60 8 8
Wow.....
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Love Bony James. Love all smooth jazz. They should have a Woodstock of jazz artists. Now that would be awesome.
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Awesome performance at the Napa Valley Jazz Festival last month!!!!
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Awesome B.J.
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grandbear198 0
Los
Report as inappropriate
It's been a few years now but I was fortunate back then to working at one of the studio lots in Hollywood, Ca. All day I would bump my Boney James CD in my office, people would stop by just to hear his music. As faith would have it he had a concert coming up at the Bowl in Hollywood, he came to our lot and practiced four three on the stage right next to my office... Little work got done but the jam sessions were the best. Boney James rocks!!!
Report as inappropriate
Awesome I loved by everyone try it
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Love me some Boney James to at work chilling with him..YayYay
Report as inappropriate
By far my favorite Jazz artist. I love me some Boney James
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gratefullr
We're looking rejuvenating give bad bh ha be the had god oh bags vxsgh7dhd for you g's it'd ogdtu big hds vs be has has b us duh b db
Report as inappropriate
So smooth
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denisecollie r 0 9
❤❤❤❤❤������
Report as inappropriate
Excellent James. Miss the first minute and 10 seconds of John Klemmer's version but still GREAT!!!
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this brother has got it going on for sure!!!!!!
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The epitome of smoothness, go brother James
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The Ride album is by far my favorite but this is a great album
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Great Music to Ride to down the road with your eyes closed having One!! YOU know!!
Report as inappropriate
LOOOOOOVE BONEY! Especially live!
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