b. Robert McElhiney James, 25th December 1939, Marshall, Montana, U.S.A.
Bob James's recordings have practically defined pop / jazz and crossover during the past two decades.
Very influenced by pop and movie music, James has often featured R & B soloists (most notably Grover Washington, Jr.) who add a jazz touch to what is essentially an instrumental pop set.
He actually started out music going in a much different direction.
In 1962, Bob James recorded a boppish trio set for Mercury and three years later his album for ESP was quite avant-garde, with electronic tapes used for effects.
After a period with Sarah Vaughn (1965-68), he became a studio musician and by 1973 was arranging and working as a producer for CTI.
In 1974 James recorded his first purely commercial effort as a leader; he later made big-selling albums for his own Tappan Zee label, Columbia and Warner Bros, including collborations with Earl Klugh and David Sanborn.
It was in 1976, however, that James recorded, probably his most popular set with UK soul fans with 'Three'.
This set included the sublime 'Women Of Ireland' but will be best remembered for the, much sampled, 'Westchester Lady'.
In 1996, he collaborated with his daughter, Hilary, on the outing 'Flesh And Blood'. The set was well received.
Bob James is, currently, touring with the jazz quartet 'Fourplay'.
He is, without doubt, the master of the music genre 'Smooth Jazz'.
Fans should not categorise the artist, as he has travelled many musical paths and has made a fine contribution to jazz and soul music.
Bold Conceptions (Mercury 1962)
Explosions (ESP 1965)
One (Columbia 1974)
Two (Columbia 1975)
Three (Columbia 1976)
BJ 4 (Columbia 1977)
Rameau (Columbia 1977)
Heads (Columbia 1977)
Four (CTI 1977)
All Around the Town [live] (Columbia 1979)
One on One (Columbia 1979)
Lucky Seven (Columbia 1979)
H (Columbia 1979)
Sign of the Times (Tappan Zee 1979)
Touchdown (Columbia 1979)
Flashback Follow Bob James (Tappan Zee 1981)
Two of a Kind (Capitol 1982)
Hands Down (Columbia 1982)
The Genie (Columbia 1983)
Foxie (Columbia 1983)
12 (Columbia 1984)
Double Vision (Warner Brothers 1986)
Obsession (Tappan Zee 1987)
Ivory Coast (Tappan Zee 1988)
Scarlatti Dialogues (Columbia 1990)
Grand Piano Canyon (Warner Brothers 1990)
Cool (Warner Brothers 1992)
Restless (Warner Brothers 1994)
Straight Up (Warner Brothers 1995)
The Swan (Columbia 1995)
Joined at the Hip (Warner Brothers 1996)
Flesh & Blood (with Hilary James) (Warner Brothers 1996)
Playin' Hooky (Warner Brothers 1997)
Joy Ride (Warner Brothers 1999)
Dancing On The Water (Warner Brothers 2001)
Urban Flamingo (Warner Brothers 2006)
Angels Of Shanghai (Koch Records 2007)