Bob James – Jazz Hands

cover to the 2023 recording Jazz Hands from contemporary jazz legend Bob James
John Hilderbrand Avatar

I feel badly that ContemporaryJazz.com has had no mention of the 2023 Bob James recording Jazz Hands. It is contemporary jazz. Bob James is a figurehead in contemporary jazz. When a legend releases new material, it should be noted.

Jazz Hands maintains the same spirit of adventure Bob James has demonstrated in over six decades of recording. From the energetic, drum-driven opener “Mambalicious” to the atmospheric “Come Into My Dream” (with Dave Koz) to the tasty DJ Jazzy Jeff collaboration “That Bop,” there’s something for almost everyone. Toss in the CeeLo Green collaboration title track and fully realize that genre diversity is the name of the game here.

Jazz Hands is probably the most eclectic album I’ve done,” he says. “There’s not really one specific genre, and there were a lot of different musicians involved at different periods. I think it definitely represents my eclectic tastes in music.”

This from a guy who named one of his albums Restless. Looks like that hasn’t changed. Which is fortunate for us as listeners.

Fun Facts:

  • Bob James turned 84 years old on Christmas Day 2023.
  • Jazz Hands is nominated for the 2024 Best Contemporary Instrumental Album Grammy award. The 2024 Grammy winners will be announced Feb. 4. Bob has won Grammys twice before: in 1981 for One on One (collaboration with Earl Klugh) and 1987 for Double Vision (collaboration with David Sunburn)
  • The album is available in several formats: as a 180g vinyl LP (which includes a special limited edition Solid Blue Colored pressing) and SACD – Hybrid Stereo, MQA-CD and digital. Also a special limited edition 7″ Vinyl Single featuring the DJ Jazzy Jeff collaboration, “That Bop / Shamboozie,” is available.

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