Today, 15th September, veteran jazzman BOB JAMES releases a new album. It’s his 36th and is simply titled ‘Jazz Hands’. The 10 tracker is the follow-up to 2022’s ‘Feel Like Makin’ Live’ and was produced by the Taxi’s man manager Sonny Abelardo.

The advance PR promised something different, eclectic even. In that context, the set’s focus track has to be the title tune – a funky, soulful cut that features sensuous vocals from CeeLo Green and there’s a little more street feel via extra production work from DJ Jazzy Jeff – who, back in the day, was a prolific sampler of Bob James’ music.  Nice touch! Jazzy Jeff’s also there on ‘That Bop’ which is as close to the dance floor as James has ever been.

A little more eclectic is the zestful album opener, ‘Mambalicious’, which allows bassist Michael Palazzolo and drummer James Adkins to stretch out. Equally playful is ‘Beerbohm’ – James’ homage to Bob’s long-time friend and musical ally, Quincy Jones. Palazzolo wrote the cut ‘The Alchemist’ which, despite its source, is a classic BJ sound, as are ‘Mophead’, the gentle ‘The Otherside’, and ‘Come Into My Dream’ (sax courtesy of Dave Koz).

Jazz Hands’ is out now on digital, SACD- Hybrid Stereo, MQA-CD . There’s a 180g vinyl LP (in Solid Blue and Black colours) due September 22nd, 2023.  Label is Evosound.

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