Born: May 15, 1949 Primary Instrument: Trumpet
Seasoned performer, composer, trumpeter and flugelhornist Gordon James has a unique style of music blending the worlds of Jazz, Latin, R&B, Pop and hip hop music. James states, My music is both funky and lyrical; the arrangements are hip and polished and the flugelhorn and muted trumpet are perfect for conveying the passion of my compositions. That passion is evident in his new release In Joy, which was produced by Bob Baldwin, and James Lloyd from Pieces of a Dream and features Chuck Loeb.
Gordon has appeared with or opened for such artists as Roy Ayres, Angela Bofill, Bobby Caldwell, Alex Bugnon, Pieces of a Dream, Chuck Loeb, Cassandra Wilson and others - The band has worked such venues as The Newark Jazz Festival, Asbury Park Jazz Fest, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Bethlehem Musikfest, Red Bank Jazz In The Park, Red Bank Jazz & Blues Festival, The Original Cool Cruise and has also appeared on the NJ Network and done shows for Suburban, Monmouth and Comcast Cablevisions.
More recently James and his group performed at the Jazz Masters on the Bay festival in Norfolk, VA with Pieces of a Dream, Marcus Johnson, Bob Baldwin, Chuck Loeb and Phil Perry. Gordon was not only a huge hit with his own group but also performed with Bob Baldwin and Chuck Loeb for a couple of songs on their set.
A graduate of The Interlochen Arts Academy and The Hartt College of Music, Gordon has studied and performed with such artists as trumpeter Ted Curson, a Charles Mingus alumni, saxophonist Eric Kloss, and Johnny Guitar Watson. James released his first CD Candlelight Love in the mid-nineties. The CD features world renowned guitarist Vic Juris in a rare contemporary jazz setting and percussionist Manolo Badrena of Weather Report and Spyro Gyra. Candlelight Love received much attention here in the US and in England. Jonathan Widran of Jazziz Magazine said of the album, James knows how to whip his band into exotic colors and stirs up some highly amiable cool craziness”.
Gordon's second CD received rave reviews in the US, Europe, South America and Australia. His original track Shades of Brown has been included on the January 2000 compilation CD for Jazz FM, London's premiere smooth jazz station. The CD features keyboardist James Lloyd from the acclaimed jazz group Pieces of a Dream and offers a colorful set that crosses many musical boundaries and should appeal to a wide audience. Mr. James went on to release his third album, the beautiful and mellow After Hours CD which featured such notables as Chuck Loeb and Slide Hampton.
“It’s a wild ride from beginning to end, and the high energy Gordon brings to his phrasing pulls it all together.” Jazzman Online
“This album has a funky, soulful feel. Half of the dozen tunes are competent James originals, and a couple of well chosen covers (‘”Grazin in the Grass” and Tutu”) prove to be particularly good vehicles for James’ solos.” Dave Hughes � All About Jazz.com
“Overall, this CD is worth the money because of stellar talent, the originality of the arrangements and the song selection. Aural emotions normally captured by string arrangements, are reached for and captured here with brass instruments, a testament to Gordon James’ ability to translate his intriguing sounds to an appreciative audience.” Paula Edelstein � Jazz Review.com
“Although not well known, James blows a mean trumpet and is highly recommended. One of James’ strengths is knowing which songs to cover.” Brian Soergel � Smooth Vibes.com
“Trumpeter Gordon James has a mellow sound that, when muted is reminiscent of Miles Davis in the late 1980’s. James has created a set of jazz-influenced music that is accessible, contemporary and not without its unpredictable moments. It’s a colorful set that crosses many musical boundaries and should appeal to a wide audience”. Scott Yanow � Jazz Heritage Review
“I absolutely love the CD by Gordon James. It will make our playlist / chart for sure!” Laurent Bonnefoy � MD Radio 16 � Besseges, France
“The Gordon James CD has become an integral part of my show. My listeners love his music.” Stephan Otettel � “Blue Notes” � Jam FM - Berlin, Germany
“Not only do my listeners like James’ Latin influenced songs but many of the other songs on the CD have been very well received”. Jose Antonio Pacheco � “Jazz ta’ bueno” at OK 101 FM Marcaibo Venezuela
“Thanks for the Gordon James CD; it’s doing very well on WFIT-FM. We’re playing “Funky G” and “Brazilian Nights”. I personally dig the version of “TuTu”. Todd Kennedy � Program Director at WFIT-FM
Thanks for a great CD! The Gordon James CD is quite GOOD!!! I’ll be adding “Funky G” and Pulse to our smooth jazz library. Thanks again for the CD… he’s GOOOOOD!!!! Al Santos � WJZW � Washington DC
I am a sucker for this kind of sound and Gordon James has certainly pulled the proverbial ‘rabbit out of the hat’ and dished up a plate of culinary delights. Many similarities to Miles, Herb Alpert and Chet Baker are quite evident on this excellent 12 track collection, another ‘must have’ album for contemporary jazz fans. Wes Gillespie � Euro Club de Jazz.com
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