Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Boney James Produces on New CD

Warner Brothers Records will release Pure, the ninth album from smooth-minded saxophonist Boney James (pictured), on August 3, 2004. Pure, which marks James’ debut as his own producer, features guest vocals by Bilal, Debi Nova, Dwele and Ledisi.

In 2002 James decided to build his own studio for the recording of the songs that make up Pure.

“I wanted to take control of how I made music so that whenever inspiration took me I could just roll out of bed and get to work,” James explains. “Then on the day I finished putting the studio all together, I got the news that my older brother had died.”

James thus began channeling all his emotions into the record-a process that turned out to be very healing.

“One of the positive things I learned through losing my brother is that you’d better grab for it while you can,” James said. “It made me proactive about everything. I don’t procrastinate anymore. And if I get an idea, I go for it.”

Maintaining his own control over the album offered positive results for James.

“The greatest joy of Pure is that I made all the decisions about everything. I was always confident in making music, but I was curious too, and a lot of times in the past I couldn’t address that… on this record I allowed myself to explore even some of my crazier ideas. A lot of them turned out to reflect more of my true musical sensibility than anything else I’d ever done.”

Eventually James had to place Pure in someone else’s hands for the mixdown. He chose Serban Ghenea, who has enhanced albums for pop stars like Justin Timberlake, Janet Jackson, Britney Spears, Destiny’s Child and N.E.R.D.

James’ 2002 album, Ride, was nominated for a Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Album. James also has the distinction of a Soul Train Award and four Gold albums-Sweet Thing, Seduction, Body Language and Ride. James has played with Morris Day, Sheena Easton, the Isley Brothers, Randy Crawford and Bobby Caldwell.

James is currently out on tour. The tour offers a preview of songs from the upcoming album and spotlights much of his best-known material from the full span of his career. Notable stops on the tour will include the Essence Festival in New Orleans, July 1st (with special guest Bilal); two appearances, June 18th and 19th, at Chicago’s Skyline Stage and a headlining performance later this year at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, October 10th.

Tour dates:

6/17 • St. Louis, MO • Ferrara Theatre

6/18&19 • Chicago, IL • Skyline Stage

6/20 • Columbus, OH • PromoWest Pavilion

6/23 • Milwaukee, WI • Northern Lights Theatre

6/24 • Cleveland, OH • Playhouse Square Center

6/25 • Pittsburgh, PA • Byham Theater

6/26 • Saratoga Springs, NY • Freihofer’s Jazz Festival

6/27 • Detroit, MI • Freedom Hill Amphitheater

7/01 • New Orleans, LA • Essence Fest

7/15 • Philadelphia, PA • Mann Center Performing Arts

7/16 • Norfolk, VA • Chastain Park Amphitheatre

7/19 • Orlando, FL • House Of Blues

7/20 • Ft. Lauderdale, FL • Broward Center Performing Arts

7/21 • Clearwater, FL • Ruth Eckerd Hall

7/22 • Mobile, AL • Mobile Civic Center

7/23 • Houston, TX • Verizon Wireless Theater

7/24 • Ft. Worth, TX • Sundance Square

7/25 • New Orleans, LA • House of Blues

10/8 • Las Vegas, NV • Boulder Station Casino

10/10 • Los Angeles, CA • Greek Theatre

For more info on Boney James, visit www.boneyjames.com.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published