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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

x

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

x

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: Sweet Thing

1. East Bay

2. Nothin' But Love

3. Words (Unspoken)

4. Sweet Thing (Feat. Tony Maiden & Maxayne Lewis)

5. It's All Good (Feat. Dee Harvey)

6. After The Rain

7. Innocence

8. I Still Dream (Feat. Al Jarreau & Bridgette Bryant-Fiddmont)

9. Ivory Coast

10. It's All Good (Feat. Eric Benet)

x

Track List: Batucada (The Beat) (Single)

x

Track List: Body Language

1. Are You Ready? (Feat. Chelle Davis)

2. Into The Blue

3. Body Language

4. I'll Always Love You (Feat. SHAI)

5. Boneyizm

6. Lovefest

7. Bedtime Story

8. I Get Lonely

9. All Night Long (Feat. Donnell Spencer Jr.)

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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Oooooh Boney so right and good! Keep on stepping my brother!!
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I've been a fan of Boney's for 20yrs. Boney James is 1 definition of smooth jazz!
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markstacey95
i prefer careless whisper
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Cg. Boney james. Is the man
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love me some Boney
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The man is great!
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love his musis the best
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Boney's music is the best
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That Boney James!!!!!
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Boney James has introduced me to a new style, class if you will of music. It's what I listen to 95% of the time. What a journey.
Thank you for the past 10 years and the future.
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Boney puts on a powerful concert!
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you know an artist is tremendous when in attending their live concert, every song sounds as fantastic as the actual album it's from! What an extraordinar y musician this man is!
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grandmother1 9 5 6
I'be been loving his music since high school,don't want no one but you.
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His music is never the same, it changes depending on the song, Love, Love, Love his wonderful music, Thanks for great music. AC
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LOVE!!
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Love this music it is relaxing and sexy at the same time thanks Boney James
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BONEY JAMES MUSIC IS LIKE STRONG HANDS RUBBING ON MY SHOULDERS... W I T H MINT SALVE....I LOVE THIS MUSIC..
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Yeah just open up my Pandora shows my first radio selection Jazz smooth jazz Boney James what a way to start it off with thank you Pandora��
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I LOVE BONEY JAMES...HE IS THE BOMB
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We have dip before sun comesbup.
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I love to please my man. In everyway.
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I give myself a A for faith and effortm I stayed strong. Sorry things didn't work outm I've been dying to see your face.
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Boney James is awesome and in concert he never disappoints.
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Lampin' it hit me so hard i can't stand it no more!!!
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This song reminds me of my uncle that passed away ten years ago,I can just hear it and I see him!
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Nice Track
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Wow! This is definitely soft like a woman. Soft butter.
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Good lovemaking music .��
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BADD TO THE BONEY JAMES
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amazing..I just don't know what else to add.....
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I love Boney James music have several of his CDs looking forward to the show in Columbia next month
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Always have loved Boney James, hard to pick a favorite but I do love Seduction and Ride.
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I love boney james the bomb!!!! My favorite is pure!!! Please come back to columbus ohio!
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Nobody,i mean 0(zero).Like
"Boney "J"(justifie d ) J a m e s ! ! !
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My man, my man, my man!!!!!!
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What-a-Playe r ! W h a t - a - P l a y e d - H I T ! . . . . P E R F O R M E D BY NONE OTHER ......than.. . . . . . . . B o - n - e - y JAME-S-S-S-$ ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
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Boney is an EDIFICE to woodwind impressionis t . H i s catogory.Wil l never be compared.To NONE OTHER THAN FINEST OF A FINE !!!!!!!
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Please, please come and rock Seattle. Also, thanks Pandora.
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dmwashin
Mr. James, I saw your concert in Kalamazoo, MI this year. It was amazing! You are the true professional . I was studying your music so hard at the concert, I can tell by the sound it is you. Please continue to share your genius with the world. God bless you.
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when I'm at work or at home I can't imagining, listening to anything else other than you Boney James
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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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