Presented by M&T Bank
Four-time Grammy nominee and multi-platinum selling saxophonist Boney James has sold more than 3 million albums worldwide. His latest studio release, futuresoul, which follows on the heels of his 2014 Grammy-nominated album The Beat, fuses his love for vintage soul with mastery of modern production. futuresoul debuted at #1 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz and Current Jazz Charts as well as #41 on the Current Albums Chart. Boney’s highest debut ever!
His previous album, The Beat (2013), was nominated for the GRAMMY for Best Pop Instrumental Album and prompted The New York Times to praise “The relaxed charisma of Mr. James’ tone…“
“Tone, or the ‘sound’ of my horn, is really crucial to me,” says James. “I practice my saxophone in my backyard studio every day when I’m not on the road. I’m still dedicated to trying to be a better player. I spend much of my time with a keyboard next to me and a computer behind me,” he continues. “So when I get a creative idea, I’ll reach over to the keyboard and pick out a few notes or record myself singing a melody. I start gathering pieces. Then I’ll build on them and gradually they’ll turn into songs. I get more and more excited and start spending 14-hour days out there. Before I know it, I’ve made an album. It’s amazing how it happens – like a ball rolling down a hill, it develops its own momentum.”
Of course this process would not be possible if James weren’t so skilled with the production technology – he says he views digital production as an instrument in itself. He almost certainly could not have imagined such a thing when, at age eight, he picked up his first instrument: the clarinet. “I really wanted to play the trumpet, but when we went to the local music store, all they had were clarinets,” he explains. “I had to have something that day, so I took one home. The saxophone came up two years later because there were so many clarinet players in the band. My teacher kind of leaned on me to switch,” James laughs. “It was fate.”
The ‘Analog’ tone of the Sax combined with the ‘Digital’ sounds of modern production contribute to the sonic tension that fuels futuresoul.
What’s in the future for futuresoul? Already making inroads at radio with the funky “Drumline” and the sultry “Either Way,” Boney will hit the road with this return stop in Buffalo.
James says, “When people ask me what category my music falls under, I always say, ‘It’s Boney James music’.”
Known for blurring the lines between genres, with futuresoul, Boney is doing the same between eras.
Let’s just call it “retro music for a modern age.”