Monday, October 28, 2019

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."One" (1974)

"One" - Bob James (1974 - Rei 1981)

Of the many Bob James albums floating around, ”One” is the album I had been searching for.  This is the album with a bit of mystery and a touch of spooky.  And it's these elements that I really enjoyed.  Of the six tracks claiming real estate, I dare say that three are very nearly killer.  Surprising at the very least.  The other three songs are, as you might expect, in the familiar smooth jazz vein Bob James loved to tap.  They are fine, too, but pale in comparison.  If you pass on Bob James because of the homogenized smooth jazz reputation, his debut...”One”...is the square you'll want to grab.  It's a welcome surprise.  Here, James rubs shoulders with a bit of “Gris-Gris” eeriness.  There are some spooky and unexpected moments.  And, of course, the rather famous funk-it-out..."Nautilus"...has been hip-hop sampled more times than ice cream at a Baskin Robbins.

Try as I may, I could never find his original debut.  Always plenty of the later stuff.  I scored my copy at a last year Hutch Swapmeet.  The dealer knocked off a buck allowing $4 to carry it home.  As I said, it's not the original, but I was hungry that afternoon and just grabbed it.  (I know I'll find an original gatefold copy.  They're certainly not rare.)  Plus, “One “ can be had for small-coinage, and the reward far out-ways the risk.  My Bob James interview.

"One" (back)

Tappan Zee - Columbia label

"Valley of the Shadows" - Bob James / "One" (1974)

TRACKS:
A1  "Valley of the Shadows" 9:42
A2  "In the Garden" 3:06
A3  "Soulero" 3:22
B1  "Night on Bald Mountain" 5:51
B2  "Feel Like Making Love" 6:40
B3  "Nautilus" 5:08

PERSONNEL:
Bob James – keyboards
Wayne Andre – trombone
Paul Faulise – bass trombone
Jack Gale – bass trombone
Alan Raph – bass trombone
Victor Paz – trumpet
Alan Rubin – trumpet
Lew Soloff – trumpet
Marvin Stamm – trumpet
Randy Brecker – horn
Jon Faddis – flugelhorn
Thad Jones – flugelhorn
George Marge – alto flute, recorder
Romeo Penque – alto flute, recorder
Grover Washington Jr. – saxophone
Hugh McCracken – harmonica
David Friedman – vibraphone
Richie Resnicoff – guitar
Eric Weissberg – guitar
Gary King – double bass
Steve Gadd – drums
Ralph MacDonald – percussion
Idris Muhammad – drums
Violin – Max Ellen, Paul Gershman, Emanuel Green, Harold Kohon, Charles Libove, Harry Lookofsky, Joseph Malin, David Nadien, Gene Orloff
Cello – Seymour Barab, Jesse Levy, Charles McCracken, George Ricci, Alan Shulman, Anthony Sophos

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers
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