Bob James – Jazz Hands (ENG review)

Evosound - Available (SACD and MQA-CD) or (Vinyl LP - Solid Blue and Black)
Bob James - Jazz Hands

The legendary Bob James releases his new album, Jazz Hands!

I couldn’t tell you how many years I’ve been listening to Bob James and following his career. The first Bob James album I ever held in my hands was “All Around The World” from 1981, which unfortunately was stolen during a move. This new album reflects his entire career, from jazz to jazz-funk and smooth jazz, with guest appearances by other legends like Geelo Green, our friend Dave Koz, who shines as always, and also DJ Jazzy Jeff.
It’s quite likely that the track featuring Dave Koz will become a universal favorite, given the musical chemistry between Dave Koz and Bob James. This album has a unique quality; you can clearly feel that Bob James remains more modern and inventive than ever. He’s as inspired as ever and undoubtedly continues to be a source of inspiration for many artists, not just musicians but also painters, sculptors, dancers, poets, and more, as his music is filled with beautiful imagery.
The compositions and arrangements are breathtaking, not because of grand effects but due to the intelligence in the music and arrangements, which is truly remarkable. Bob James leaves traces of his encounters with numerous artists over the years. Is it still reasonable to say that Bob James is certainly one of the most important jazz stars in the field today? Yes, because he exudes creativity, music, and a love for his audience. With a track like “The Alchemist,” he showcases his preferred instrument, the piano, beautifully simple and intelligent. It’s not just about skill; there’s clearly genius in this composer.
As soon as I unwrapped it, I eagerly listened to this album, wanting to write my review in the excitement of discovering this new work. “Emotion” is the word that comes to mind when faced with this excellent masterpiece that can only touch us deeply. Filled with artistic intentions and a commitment to perfection at every stage, this production matches the scope of such a project. No one can say “just another album” here; it’s truly a new Bob James, surprising us once again. He injects all the rhythms, colors, landscapes, sounds, and even the scents of a journey that takes us into the imagination of its author, constructed from a multitude of countries as diverse as the people on Earth. There’s also the track “That Bop,” with a club atmosphere, and DJ Jazzy Jeff fits perfectly into this project as well. For once, I won’t label this album, because for me, Bob James has long surpassed the idea of residing in our “must-haves.” Keep creating such beautiful albums, and we’ll be here to discuss them.

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, October 4th 2023


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