Bob James' Smooth Jazz Meeting Eastern Influences

Bob James is finishing new project called The Angels of Shanghai.

BobJames.jpgVeteran pianist Bob James' ambitious vision to fuse smooth jazz with music from the Far East and share it with his fans worldwide will shortly become a reality. James has just inked a deal with the Japanese division of Sony Music to release a CD called The Angels of Shanghai.

In January 2005, James made his third trip in two years to the Shanghai Conservatory of Music to record music with a talented group of five young Chinese musicians who attend the prestigious university. The result, when released later this year in Asia, will be a new Bob James CD with a decidedly Asian bent featuring exotic violins, harps and flutes and traditional Chinese melodies adapted to his own style.

Included will be a original songs, including one composed with Fourplay bandmember Nathan East called �Endless Time.� The CD will first be released in Japan and then Europe, and later next year in the U.S. to not conflict with a solo CD called Urban Flamingo that�s scheduled to be offered this February. U.S. audiences can get a taste of the music, however, since James plans to add �Endless Time� to Urban Flamingo.

The pianist will debut the music of Angels of Shanghai at a live performance on Dec. 17 at the Bangkok Jazz Festival. In addition to James and five musicians from Shanghai, the band will include East on bass and vocals, Jack Lee on guitar and Louis Pragasam on drums.