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Bob James Looks Back

The man who composed one of the most heavily sampled tunes in history takes stock of his life in jazz

Bob James
Bob James-Piano (photo: Alan Nahigian)

For someone looking to learn about Bob James’ artistry, his latest album, Espresso (Evosound), might be a good place to start. A trio recording built on a piano/bass/drums foundation, its tracks reflect the multifaceted nature of the veteran keyboardist’s career, which spans six decades and virtually every genre of jazz and pop. “I just wanted to have the chance to go public with the things that meant the most to me,” James says. “And as I made the decision with all the different tunes, it was more like putting together a scrapbook of my own taste and how I feel and what makes me happy to do it, with the crux or the foundation of it being the trio setting.”

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