Boney James

Boney James

James "Boney James" Oppenheim, (born September 1, 1961 in Lowell, Massachusetts) is a saxophonist who popularized urban jazz (an updated version of contemporary jazz that contains elements of hip-hop).

Boney James is a two-time Grammy nominee and a Soul Train Award winner. He has accumulated three RIAA certified Gold records. His current and tenth CD, "Shine", debuted at #1 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz charts, #6 on the R+B chart and #44 on the Pop Chart. James produced the CD as well as wrote 9 of the songs.

James has produced remakes of classic soul songs, such as Chaka Khan's "Sweet Thing," Stevie Wonder's "Creepin'" and Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine (When She's Gone)". In addition, he collaborated with trumpeter Rick Braun on an album called "Shake it Up". Their duets include "Grazin' in the Grass," which had been previously performed by the Friends of Distinction and Hugh Masekela. Other collaborations on "Shine" include Faith Evans, George Benson, Dwele,Esthero and Philip Bailey.

Some James originals include "The Total Experience", "Metropolis," "After the Rain", and "Here She Comes."

Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, he took up the clarinet at the age of eight and switched to sax when he was 10. Boney James started his teen years in New Rochelle, New York, as a Motown fan, which has contributed to his "musical influence and soulful R&B style." . He was influenced by popular saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr.. When James was 15 his family moved to Los Angeles, where he joined a fusion band which had some success opening for acts like Flora Purim and the Yellowjackets. Another member of this early band was John Shanks, now a successful pop producer. [!-1963287997&pid=32152 Biography in Billboard Magazine] ] .

He received a history degree from UCLA, but began playing music full-time after graduation. He took up the keyboards and in 1985 played in Morris ("What Time Is It?") Day's band for four years. His R&B influence was strengthened by seven years of touring and sessions as a sideman with artists like Day, the Isley Brothers, Bobby Caldwell, Randy Crawford,Teena Marie and many others.

In the early days, after joining Bobby Caldwell's band, he caught the attention of the engineer/mixer & producer Paul Brown. In 1992 he released his debut album as leader ("Trust") and was signed by the Warner Brothers label in 1994. In 2006 James moved to Concord Records and with the release of "Shine" achieved his career highest Billboard chart position.

In 2008, James recored a song with American Idol finalist Syesha Mercado, entitled "Gonna Get It," which was written by James himself and Rahsaan Patterson. It is currently available in the iTunes Music Store.

He is married to actress/director Lily Mariye of television's "ER."


* "Trust" (1992)
* "Backbone" (1994)
* "Seduction" (1995)
* "Boney's Funky Christmas" (1996)
* "Sweet Thing/It's All Good" (1998)
* "Body Language" (1999)
* "Shake It Up" w/Rick Braun (2000)
* "Ride" (2001)
* "Pure" (2004)
* "Shine" (2006)
* "Christmas Present" (2007)

ee also

* Steve Cole


External links

* [ Obnoxious Listeners Review of Boney James]

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