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Boney James

ON AIR
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Bio

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
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Albums by
Boney James

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    10 songs

    On Air

    Futuresoul

    10 songs

    On Air

    The Beat

    10 songs

    On Air

    Contact

    10 songs

    On Air

    Send One Your Love

    12 songs

    On Air

    Shine

    10 songs

    On Air

    Pure

    11 songs

    On Air

    Ride

    10 songs

    On Air

    Shake It Up

    9 songs

    On Air

    Boney's Funky Christmas

    9 songs

    On Air

    Body Language

    9 songs

    On Air

    Sweet Thing

    9 songs

    On Air

    Seduction

    9 songs

    On Air

    Trust

    9 songs

    On Air

    Backbone

    1 song

    On Air

    A Little Attitude

    1 song

    On Air

    Drumline

    1 song

    On Air

    Either Way

    1 song

    On Air

    Batucada (The Beat)

    1 song

    On Air

    Maker of Love

    1 song

    On Air

    When I Had the Chance

    1 song

    On Air

    Contact

    10 songs

    On Air

    Sweet Thing/It's All Good

    10 songs

    On Air

    Christmas Present

    10 songs

    On Air

    Sweet Thing

See All Albums

Top Songs by
Boney James

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   Maker of Love
  3.   Missing You
  4.   Nothin' But Love
  5.   Contact
  6.   Batucada (The Beat)
  7.   Vinyl
  8.   Metropolis
  9.   Boneyizm
  10.   Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart)
  11.   Body Language
  12.   After the Rain
  13.   Let It Go
  14.   Innocence
  15.   A Little Attitude
  16.   Hypnotic
  17.   The Total Experience
  18.   Powerhouse
  19.   See What I'm Sayin'?
  20.   Drumline
  21.   Deep Time
  22.   Futuresoul
  23.   Sunset Boulevard
  24.   That Look on Your Face
  25.   Spin
  26. See All Songs

Stations & Shows Featuring
Boney James

    On Air

    Smooth Jazz

    On Air

    Smooth Jazz Instrumentals

    On Air

    His & Hers Radio


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