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Bob JamesUSER STORIES
Bob James

Renown Jazz keyboardist and composer Bob James was discovered by Quincy Jones at the Notre Dame Jazz Festival in 1963, and recorded his first solo album, Bold Conceptions, that year for Mercury Records. Since then he's released an astounding 36 more solo albums throughout the past four decades - plus over a dozen collaboration projects garnering many Grammy Award nods from his peers. James told us recently, "I'm still hot and heavy using Stylus RMX constantly and also Atmosphere. I used both extensively on the recent Fourplay "X" CD, composing both my songs with the inspiration of these excellent software instruments. I'm also working with both on music I'm preparing for a new trio CD project that I'll be recording in May."On the process of composing and using computers and software he adds, "It seems like a new experience every time I start up working on a new piece, and I just try to go with the flow. Stylus RMX is probably the most intuitive software I've ever worked with, and is a constant source of ideas and inspiration. I've also heard nothing but good things from other artists I communicate with. I guess you can tell, that I'm a very satisfied user."

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Fourplay: Bob James, Nathan East, Harvey Mason, Larry Carlton

Stylus RMX isn't the only Spectrasonics software that gets a workout, James revealed, "I've used Atmosphere on a lot of my tracks that have been released. It really helps a track breathe. Atmosphere enhances the pads that I play on piano, there's a level of sustained mystery that happens. Atmosphere is all over the previous album "Heartfelt" and I used it on the latest Fourplay album "X" too."

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The Bob James Trio: James Genus, Bob James, Billy Kilson

One of the things he points out is the integration of Spectrasonics software into his composing system, "I love how easily the Stylus RMX grooves sync with the tempo and my Digital Performer tracks. The parts just lock into the groove. The software is as user friendly as any in the field. I love the RMX tutorials too, I always learn other sophisticated things I can do with it. We're quite happy."

 On the subject of his collaborative band, Fourplay, where each musician submits tunes for the album, he says, "In Foreplay we all compose separately and then exchange demos and pick the tunes that we think are best for the band. For the last album, "X", I submitted 4 tracks although I figured only two would be used in the recording. I had the tracks very far along with Stylus RMX. Even Harvey Mason liked the parts so much that he used them as a jumping off point for his own parts. Sometimes it even becomes a game of "Beat the Demo" when the tracks we bring in sound so good."

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James has new works in the pipeline too, "Right now I'm working on a a straight ahead trio project. I certainly won't be using loops on the album, but as I am composing I search for Stylus RMX grooves that might work. One of my greatest challenges is not to compromise the drummer's creativity, making them try to play like the loop. Sometimes I only use the demo tracks for my own listening and composition and just play the piano parts to show the song to the band."

Visit Bob James website

To view Bob James' amazing discography visit this "all music" web page click the multi-colored timeline and see all his album releases by decade! Select any album cover to zoom in on further information.

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