Gordon James | In Joy

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In Joy

by Gordon James

Jazz with a blend of r&b, old school, Latin, hip hop and funk. Masterful arrangements and performances.
Genre: Jazz: Smooth Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. In Joy
5:25 $0.99
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2. Back Together Again
4:05 $0.99
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3. Straight From the Heart
4:02 $0.99
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4. Drivin'
4:13 $0.99
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5. Another Love Song
4:06 $0.99
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6. One Nation Under a Groove
4:58 $0.99
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7. 2 Trumps Up
4:37 $0.99
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8. Sunshine
5:05 $0.99
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9. G's House
4:16 $0.99
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10. Always in My Heart
3:41 $0.99
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11. Keep It Real
5:36 $0.99
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12. Beatnick
5:06 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Gordon James

Seasoned performer, composer, trumpeter and flugelhornist Gordon James has a unique style of music blending the worlds of Jazz, Latin, R&B, Pop and hip hop music. James states, "My music is both funky and lyrical; the arrangements are hip and polished and the flugelhorn and muted trumpet are perfect for conveying the passion of my compositions". That passion is evident in his new release In Joy, which was produced by Bob Baldwin, and James Lloyd from Pieces of a Dream and features Chuck Loeb.

On Stage

Gordon has appeared with or opened for such artists as Roy Ayres, Angela Bofill, Bobby Caldwell, Alex Bugnon, Pieces of a Dream, Chuck Loeb, Cassandra Wilson and others - The band has worked such venues as The Newark Jazz Festival, Asbury Park Jazz Fest, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Bethlehem Musikfest, Red Bank Jazz In The Park, Red Bank Jazz & Blues Festival, The Original Cool Cruise and has also appeared on the NJ Network and done shows for Suburban, Monmouth and Comcast Cablevisions.

More recently James and his group performed at the Jazz Masters on the Bay festival in Norfolk, VA with Pieces of a Dream, Marcus Johnson, Bob Baldwin, Chuck Loeb and Phil Perry. Gordon was not only a huge hit with his own group but also performed with Bob Baldwin and Chuck Loeb for a couple of songs on their set.

Accomplishments

A graduate of The Interlochen Arts Academy and The Hartt College of Music, Gordon has studied and performed with such artists as trumpeter Ted Curson, a Charles Mingus alumni, saxophonist Eric Kloss, and Johnny Guitar Watson. James released his first CD Candlelight Love in the mid-nineties. The CD features world renowned guitarist Vic Juris in a rare contemporary jazz setting and percussionist Manolo Badrena of Weather Report and Spyro Gyra. Candlelight Love received much attention here in the US and in England. Jonathan Widran of Jazziz Magazine said of the album, "James knows how to whip his band into exotic colors and stirs up some highly amiable cool craziness”.

Gordon's second CD received rave reviews in the US, Europe, South America and Australia. His original track "Shades of Brown" has been included on the January 2000 compilation CD for Jazz FM, London's premiere smooth jazz station. The CD features keyboardist James Lloyd from the acclaimed jazz group Pieces of a Dream and offers a colorful set that crosses many musical boundaries and should appeal to a wide audience. Mr. James went on to release his third album, the beautiful and mellow "After Hours" CD which featured such notables as Chuck Loeb and Slide Hampton.



GORDON JAMES In Joy Caress Music
So it’s pretty much decided by all of us reviewers… composer/ flugelhornist /trumpeter Gordon James is slammin’, and he’s ready to join the elite soloists of the Smooth Jazz world! IN JOY, his fourth solo album, is stellar with a capital “S.” This disc has got all the right elements in all the right places, and sounds to my ear like a total Smooth Jazz staple already. This is a really, really good collection of tunes. Wow! Trust me on this… with talent like Bob Baldwin and Pieces of a Dream’s James Lloyd both co-producing and playing, plus guitarists Chuck Loeb and Gil Parris aboard, this disc absolutely sizzles. Out of the twelve tracks, three are covers, but not your everyday, “everybody’s done these already” covers. No, not at all. Mr. James has chosen killer songs that have not been overplayed. How about “Back Together Again” from the Flack/Hathaway songbook? Then there’s Funkadelic’s “One Nation Under a Groove” and Alexander O’Neal’s “Sunshine.” The originals are all… and I mean all nine of them… just as strong. Mr. James says, “My music is both funky and lyrical; the arrangements are hip and polished…” Absolutely true! The funky stuff (like “2 Trump’s Up” and “G’s House”) is truly funky and memorable. The ballads (the tile track and “Always in My Heart.”) are pretty and lush… and memorable. IN JOY is the double bomb, and without question should propel Gordon James right into the Smooth Jazz stratosphere. Two thumbs up… highly recommended! ~SCOTT O'BRIEN SMOOTHJAZZ.COM

Smooth Jazz Therapy
The very best from the world of smooth jazz and classic soul.
NOVEMBER 17, 2007
Gordon James - In Joy
On both trumpet and flugelhorn Gordon James has a tone that is brim full of sensuous warmth. His first CD, ‘Candlelight’, was released in 1995 and since then, with his own band and as a solo artist, he has opened for Roy Ayres, Angela Bofill, Bobby Caldwell, Alex Bugnon, Pieces of A Dream, Chuck Loeb and Cassandra Wilson. His brand new album is ‘In Joy’ and it’s a measure of the esteem in which James is held that some of the greatest talents in contemporary jazz have clamored to collaborate with him on it.
The album starts out in the way that it subsequently continues with the velvety smooth title track. Anchored by a delightful melody and helped in no small part by the performing and production nous of Bob Baldwin it is a tranquil delight from beginning to end. Baldwin also produces and arranges James’ jazzy take on Funkadelic’s 1978 classic ‘One Nation Under The Groove’. Here Gil Parris on guitar makes the first of two telling contributions and when he returns for ‘Straight From The Heart’ the result is a melodically ‘in the pocket’ slice of smooth jazz all bound together with a feel good hook. ‘Trumps Up’ is a little funky, a tad jazzy and in all respects a piece of superb contemporary jazz while ‘Always In My Heart’ is quite simply a tender, Latin infused charmer.
‘Another Love Song’ retains that same mellow and sexy vibe while for ‘G’s House’ James quickens the tempo to engender an urban smokiness that belies the songs joyous chorus. Possibly one of the greatest soul anthems of all time, ‘Back Together Again’ was a huge smash for Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway yet James understated cover, which includes Chuck Loeb on guitar, pays it huge respect and when James re-imagines the Terry Lewis – Jimmy Jam composition ‘Sunshine’ he comes up with what is arguably the albums standout track. It is produced by James Lloyd of Pieces Of A Dream fame and is one of several cuts in which he has a hand. The retro tinged ‘Beatnik’ that he co-writes with James has a slinky jazz club aura and their combination on ‘Drivin’ provides a groove that fits exactly with what the title suggests it might. ‘Keep It Real’ is also produced and co-written by Lloyd. With a languid yet hip beat it’s a tune with undertones of Tom Scott but which in the final analysis is all Gordon James.
‘In Joy’ is indeed a joy and comes highly recommended. For more go to www.gjames.com

Artist: Gordon James
Title: In Joy
Genre: Smooth Jazz-Instrumental
Label: Caress Music
Website: http://www.gjames.com

This music is about the joy of life. Gordon James believes that we can interpret life in a beautiful way through music. I believe this to be true as music is the universal language everyone understands.
In Joy celebrates more than life; it takes instrumental smooth jazz to a level of excellence that you hear from some of the world’s top trumpet players. You will not hear the name Gordon James mentioned in a conversation when someone is talking about Chris Botti but his masterful artistry is right up there with some of the best I have ever heard.
The 12 tracks offered on this CD befit the title. I really felt warmth and joy while listening to this superb recording. James has a sense of rhythm and timing that falls right in line with the layers of instruments that support him. He gets help from some friends but mainly Bob Baldwin, who is a stalwart keyboard man. Chuck Loeb, an excellent guitar player, adds ambiance and taste with his acoustic picking and a shot of energy with the electric six-string that finds a way of complimenting the rest of the musical activity. Gil Paris also lends some expert licks to the mix with the electric guitar.
“Sunshine,” typifies the atmosphere and attitude of what you will hear on In Joy. The title of the song is so right, every note is a little bit of sunshine that will brighten your day. There is nothing to dislike about what James is doing on this album. Weary souls that need a little decompression after a hard day at work will appreciate this relaxing positive vibe. Actually, anyone that is a true music fan will find some appreciation and enjoyment with this music. I liked the transition into the next track “G’s House,” which pushes the funk and R & B button and starts getting you into a non-stop groove that will not let go. This kind of variety and texture makes for a good jazz album.
James is an excellent trumpet player that has every reason to believe he belongs in the upper echelon of players. Based on his liner notes, he sounds too humble to imply that. James prefers to let his music do all the talking. This listener heard it loud and clear.
© MuzikReviews.com-http://www.muzikreviews.com
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-December 8, 2007

Featured Artist: Gordon James

CD Title: In Joy

Year: 2007

Record Label: Caress Music

Style: Smooth Jazz

Review:
It’s been said that smooth jazz trumpeters are not very plentiful today. Rick Braun, Chris Botti, and Greg Adams quickly come to mind as being among the major heavyweights. Gordon James shows here that he deserves a place in the spotlight, as well. In Joy boasts a rhythm section that holds down a mellow, smooth groove as James’ sultry trumpet entices the aural sensitivities as well as the soul.
The opening tune sets the tone for much of the album, cool, funky, purposeful and strong on melody. James brings with him the kind of funkiness that refuses to get lost in the shadows of the more prominent saxes and guitars of smooth jazz. His is a sound that drives the funk, beckoning it to his side. The R&B/smooth jazz flavor easily permeates the musical echelons usually reserved for the “flashier” instruments.
The material here is quite fresh and palatable. It features several of the strongmen in smooth jazz, Pieces of a Dream keyboardist and co-founder James Lloyd, guitarist Chuck Loeb, and keyboardist Bob Baldwin, among others. In fact, the album is produced by Lloyd, Baldwin, and James and what a production it is. On this album, James’ association with these and other artists shows it to have been a very positive meeting of the minds.
I was truly hard-pressed to find an unimpressive cut in the collection. For me, that speaks volumes. What he does with cosmic funkster George Clinton’s “One Nation Under a Groove” is definitely worthy of an approving nod from Clinton. “Trumps Up” follows in those funky footsteps. Slowing it down to a mischievously sexy mood is obviously not difficult for James either, as “Sunshine” and “Always in My Heart” prove.
In James’ bio, he states “My music is both funky and lyrical; the arrangements are hip and polished, and the flugelhorn and muted trumpet are perfect for conveying the passion of my compositions.” Hmm. Tooting his own horn (literally)? You bet and with just one listen, you’ll see why he can get away with it!

Artist's Website: http://www.gjames.com/

Reviewed by: Ronald Jackson

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Reviews


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Sandy Shore

SmoothJazz.com Review
So it’s pretty much decided by all of us reviewers… composer/flugelhornist/trumpeter Gordon James is slammin’, and he’s ready to join the elite soloists of the Smooth Jazz world! IN JOY, his fourth solo album, is stellar with a capital “S.” This disc has got all the right elements in all the right places, and sounds to my ear like a total Smooth Jazz staple already. This is a really, really good collection of tunes. Wow! Trust me on this… with talent like Bob Baldwin and Pieces of a Dream’s James Lloyd both co-producing and playing, plus guitarists Chuck Loeb and Gil Parris aboard, this disc absolutely sizzles. Out of the twelve tracks, three are covers, but not your everyday, “everybody’s done these already” covers. No, not at all. Mr. James has chosen killer songs that have not been overplayed. How about “Back Together Again” from the Flack/Hathaway songbook? Then there’s Funkadelic’s “One Nation Under a Groove” and Alexander O’Neal’s “Sunshine.” The originals are all… and I mean all nine of them… just as strong. Mr. James says, “My music is both funky and lyrical; the arrangements are hip and polished…” Absolutely true! The funky stuff (like “2 Trump’s Up” and “G’s House”) is truly funky and memorable. The ballads (the tile track and “Always in My Heart.”) are pretty and lush… and memorable. IN JOY is the double bomb, and without question should propel Gordon James right into the Smooth Jazz stratosphere. Two thumbs up… highly recommended!
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Dave

In Joy
A great CD Gordon - I appreciate the smooth jazz feel!
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Robbie McNeill(Roc)

Gordon James(In Joy)
Thanks Gordon for bringing back the real smooth jazz with no vocals.(Let the horn sing) This is a must have for all the real smooth jazz lovers. Pure Smooth Jazz.
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Anna 'Oboelady' Fisher

Gordon James' "In Joy" is Smoooooth!
"In Joy" is a beautiful album. Gordon James' melodies and trumpet instrumental stylings make this CD a beautiful treasure. Excellent training and musicianship shines through brightly on songs that pour straight from the heart like liquid gold.
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