Saturday, July 03, 2010

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
The return of Boney James

This week, we've got some clips of smooth jazz saxophonist Boney James, who will be back in the St. Louis area next Thursday, July 8 to perform at the Ameristar Casino's Bottleneck Blues Bar.

James is no stranger to St. Louis - he's played both at the Bottleneck and The Pageant in recent years - but this show marks more than just a return to the Gateway City. It also will be just the second performance for James as he recovers from a serious auto accident earlier this year that did some major damage to the saxman's teeth and thus, his embouchure.

James was rear-ended on a California freeway while driving home from a gig in May, and had to put down his horn for several weeks while recovering from subsequent dental surgery. He talked about the accident and his rehab process with Post-Dispatch's Kevin Johnson for an article published yesterday in the paper and online.

Here's hoping James' recovery is quick and complete, and his return to the stage successful. In the meantime, you can check out four video clips of his past live performances, starting up above with a version of "Grazin' in the Grass" recorded on board a cruise ship in 2007. That's Brian Culbertson on trombone alongside James, and they look to be having a pretty good time with the tune originally made popular in the 1960s by Hugh Masekela (instrumentally) and the Friends of Distinction (vocally).

Down below, you can see James performing "Stone Groove," from that same cruise ship show; "After The Rain," from the 2009 Smooth Jazz Fest at Chene Park in Detroit; and "Seduction," which seem fairly representative of the sort of quiet-storm tunes that James uses as contrast to more upbeat, funky numbers.

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