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Jazz 91.9 WCLK | Membership Matters

March 30: Suite Jazz Series Celebrates 10 Years with Bob James

Support for Jazz 91.9 WCLK comes from The Suite Food Lounge, presenting The Suite Jazz Series. This week they're celebrating 10 years of The Suite Jazz Series with a performance from the Legendary Bob James on Thursday, March 30. Doors open at 6:30pm with dinner and Jazz with Bob James at 7:30pm. More information including tickets can be found at JazzBeat Promotions, eventbrite.com or call 404-577-2500.

Bob James is a prolific, best-selling, Grammy-winning composer, arranger, producer, and pianist. Along with Grover Washington, Jr., he is known as one of the fathers of smooth and contemporary jazz. His music seamlessly melds genres from bop to pop, from classical to R&B via relatively simple, accessible, and elegant melodies with rich harmonies and multiple sonic textures, often anchored by lithe, funky grooves. In addition to gold- and platinum-selling albums on his own and in various collaborations, he issued four numerically titled albums for CTI in the mid-'70s that successfully melded jazz, pop, and classical styles with sharp arrangements, accessible melodies, and funky grooves. Those four albums are all considered shining examples of early jazz-funk and have been abundantly sampled by hip-hop DJs and producers. (Two songs, "Nautilus" from 1974's One and "Take Me to the Mardi Gras" from 1975's Two, are among the most sampled songs in history.) James has also written extensively for film and television. One of his signature tunes, "Angela," from the chart-topping Touchdown in 1978, is the iconic theme for the hit television show Taxi with a lithe electric piano, simple melody, slightly funky backbeat, and muted bass and brass. James has also composed and arranged for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. During the '80s, in addition to jazz records, he cut three commercially successful classical titles. During the '90s, he released his contemporary jazz masterwork Grand Piano Canyon, and co-founded the jazz supergroup Fourplay. James' 21st-century achievements include the concert offering Angels of Shanghai, showcasing his compositions in a group featuring Fourplay, a quintet of Chinese conservatory students playing traditional folk instruments, and a DJ. He also released the solo piano offering Alone: Kaleidoscope by Solo Piano, and The New Cool, a duo with Fourplay's bassist Nathan East.