DOUBLE VISION REVISITED
featuring Bob James, David Sanborn & Marcus Miller with guests Billy Kilson & Larry BraggsTuesday, August 13, 2019 7:30pm The Sheldon Concert Hall
A jazz legend, Bob James has a career that has defined the genre and continues to evolve at every turn. David Sanborn is universally known as one of the most iconic saxophonists of the current age. Marcus Miller’s characteristic bass sound can be heard on a limitless catalog of musical hits.
These three virtuosos are reuniting for a rare live performance of Double Vision, the 80s collaboration between James and Sanborn that dominated the airwaves, sold over 1 million copies, and earned a Grammy Award. Featuring the renowned track "Maputo," written by Marcus Miller, and the classic standard "Since I Fell For You" with guest vocalist Al Jarreau, Double Vision is considered by many as one of the most important albums in the history of jazz.
Adding in the talents of featured guests Billy Kilson (drums) and Larry Braggs (guest vocals), the Double Vision Revisited band is a thrilling return to the classic sound of the famous album. The resulting program presents tunes that will amaze new listeners and enthrall longtime fans, showing audiences the world over the true magic of a good groove.
“We loved turning ‘Double Vision’ into a live concert when we were on The Smooth Jazz Cruise back in 2013,” says David Sanborn, the 6-time Grammy Award-winning saxophonist who was born and raised in the St. Louis suburb of Kirkwood, Mo. “And since the concept was born on an ECP cruise, we jumped at the company’s invitation to bring it to their – and my – hometown this summer.”
The career of Bob James is long, varied and continues to evolve at every turn. From his first days in Marshall, Missouri, the music of Bob James has captivated audiences throughout the world.
Discovered by Quincy Jones at the Notre Dame Jazz Festival in 1963, James recorded his first solo album, Bold Conceptions, that year for Mercury Records. 58 albums and innumerable awards would follow through five decades. He honed his skills working with Creed Taylor, working on albums for artists like Hank Crawford, Grover Washington, Jr, among others. While with CTI, James found great popular success overseeing significant…Read More
hits for Paul Simon, Neil Diamond, Maynard Ferguson, and Kenny Loggins.
In 1974, James finally recorded his own album, One, which launched a lifelong career of recording and performing live. After three more albums, James began his own label, Tappan Zee Records. This allowed James to spend more time in the studio, focusing on his own creative works. It was during this time that he recorded his own gold seller, Touchdown, which included his composition, “Angela”, the instrumental theme from the sitcom Taxi, and possibly James’ best know work. Bob composed all the original music used in that television series for its entire run. One On One, the first in three collaborations with Earl Klugh, was awarded a Grammy in 1980 for Best Pop Instrumental Performance, and has sold over a million copies. During this time, James set the standard for the smooth jazz sound in the late 1970s.
A different aspect of the musical talent of Bob James was demonstrated on his three classical albums recorded for the CBS Masterworks division, the first of which was Rameau released in 1984, and followed by The Scarlatti Dialogues & Bach keyboard concertos with the Pekinel Sisters.
In 1985 James moved to Warner Bros Records, and kicked things off with Double Vision, a collaboration with David Sanborn, and produced by Tommy LiPuma. Double Vision was another Grammy winner, selling over a million albums.
While recording his album, Grand Piano Canyon, in 1990, James reunited with longtime friend, drummer Harvey Mason, Jr. It would also be the first time James would work with guitarist Lee Ritenour, and bassist Nathan East. This would be the start of something beautiful, as these early sessions ignited a spark which would engulf the Jazz world as Fourplay. Fourplay’s first album was recorded and released in 1991. The Group would collaborate on a total of three albums, until 1998 when Ritenour left the group, and Larry Carlton took over. This version of Fourplay continued the group’s huge success for seven more albums. After 12 years, Carlton decided to delve further into his solo career, and the band brought in guitarist Chuck Loeb in 2010.
A personal and professional highlight was the collaboration with his daughter, Hilary, on their Flesh & Blood album, which toured 15 U.S. cities. James continued collaborating on separate projects with Earl Klugh, (Cool) and Kirk Whalum (Joined At the Hip). Both albums were nominated for Grammys. His solo career continued throughout the 90’s, culminating with Joy Ride in 1999, and another Grammy nomination.
In 2001, Dancing On the Water, was released, once again showcasing James’ creative versatility. The album includes performances with Keiko Matsui, Joe Sample, Dave Holland, and Chuck Loeb. Fourplay released Heartfelt in 2002, and spent much of the year touring across the globe. That same year, James released Morning, Noon, & Night, whose title track went to #1 in Contemporary Jazz Radio.
While appearing at New York’s Blue Note, in February of 2003, James went into the Hit Factory with Billy Kilson, James Genus, and Ken Freeman on the board. The result was Take It From the Top, a tribute to pianists who inspired James; Ahmad Jamal, Duke Ellington, Bill Evans, and Oscar Peterson, among others.
The very next year James was at it again, with Fourplay releasing Journey in 2004. Fourplay toured most of the year, culminating with a trip to South Africa in November of 2005 and a final tour stop in Bangkok, Thailand in December. This event featured the world premiere live performance of James’ ‘The Angels of Shanghai.’ This project encompassed several months in the Far East collaborating with students from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, who played ancient Chinese instruments, as well as James Genus, Nathan East, and Harvey Mason. This project finally toured the U.S. in 2007, and culminated with a performance later in the year at the prestigious Seongnam Art Center in Seoul, Korea, where James was also invited to have a solo exhibit of his art in conjunction with the performance.
James stayed busy in 2006, releasing Urban Flamingo in February, and on April 7, was awarded the George Benson Lifetime Achievement Award by the Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards. Summer saw the release of Fourplay’s tenth record, appropriately called X. This tour literally took James around the world again with stops in Spain, London, California, Hong Kong, Japan, Kuala Lumpur, and Indonesia.
In 2008, James released a Christmas album with Hilary James, and another Fourplay album Energy. Energy featured Grammy winner Esperanza Spalding, and another Grammy nomination with the first single, “Fortune Teller”. The year ended on a high note with James and close friend, the Tony award winning Broadway director Jack O’Brien, receiving the International Achievement Award by the state of Michigan.
Bob has maintained a commitment to sophisticated production and arrangements, while stretching out in different and new directions. This culminated with another busy year in 2009 with the release of The Very Best of Bob James. Not stopping there, James also released Botero, a collaboration with Jack Lee, composed music for the Broadway play ‘Impressionism’, and recorded Across the Groove, a collaboration with Japanese sax player Masato Honda, all in the same year. This again led James touring across Asia, Europe, and the U.S.
2010 saw the twelfth Fourplay album released, Let’s Touch the Sky, which led to another world tour, culminating with an unforgettable collaboration with the New Japan Philharmonic in Tokyo in December. This premiered new orchestral pieces arranged specifically for this concert, and was Fourplay’s first performance with a symphony orchestra. Fourplay was voted Best Group of the Year at the American Smooth Jazz Awards to wrap up a busy 2010.
2011 brought devastating natural disasters to Japan, and James, with a close relationship to the region wanted to contribute to the relief efforts. This led to the Jazz for Japan benefit album, and the Iwate benefit concert, headlined by James.
Then, in September 2011, Altair & Vega, the Four-Hand piano duet collaboration with Keiko Matsui, was released. This unique collaboration which took nearly 10 years, resulted in several memorable live tour performances, before being completed as a recorded album, along with a live performance DVD recorded at the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild. Later that same year, James released a collaboration with Savannah guitarist Howard Paul with Just Friends: The Hamilton Hall Sessions. All this, while still touring with Fourplay, including headlining the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl, and receiving the Oasis Contemporary jazz award for ‘Group of the Year’. James was also honored in his hometown of Marshall, MO, with the inaugural ‘Bob James Jazz Festival’.
Fourplay joined forces again the following year with the release of Esprit de Four. The album hit the charts, producing several successful tracks, including the powerful “Put Our Hearts Together”, which featured vocals by Seiko Matsuda. The song was a tribute to the regions of Japan devastated by the natural disasters just months earlier, and spawned several benefit concerts, such as the Iwate Jazz Festival, and a full length documentary of James’ visit to the region.
In 2013 Quartette Humaine was released. This was the first creative collaboration between keyboardist-composer Bob James and alto saxophonist David Sanborn since their million-selling, Grammy-winning album, Double Vision, twenty-five years ago.
2015 brought the release of James’ first live album, Live at the Milliken Auditorium, which was captured on a magical night in his home town of Traverse City, Michigan. This same year also brought the first release from James and long time collaborator Nathan East, The New Cool, a masterful work of art which truly redefines the essence of cool. Still not finished, James and Fourplay came together for the release of the group’s 25th anniversary, with Silver, which was recorded old school at Sunset Sound Studios, where the group recorded their first album 25 years earlier.
While James is recognized as one of the progenitors of smooth jazz, his music has also had a profound effect on the history of hip hop, having been sampled often. Two of James’ songs – “Nautilus” from 1974’s One and “Take Me to the Mardi Gras” from 1975’s Two – are among the most sampled in hip hop history. According to whosampled.com, “Nautilus” and “Take Me to Mardi Gras” have been sampled in thirty-two and forty-three hip-hop recordings, respectively. The title track from his 1981 album Sign of the Times was sampled in De La Soul‘s “Keepin’ the Faith”, and Warren G‘s “Regulate”. His “Angela” was sampled in the track “Cab Fare” by Souls of Mischief. The track “El Verano” from the 1977 album “BJ4” is used as a sample in the song “Blown Away” by the Cocoa Brovaz and also in the Masta Ace Track “NY Confidential”. N.W.A‘s “Alwayz into Somethin’” uses a sample of “Storm King” from the album Three. “Can’t Wait” by Redman features a sample of “Caribbean Nights” from the album Touchdown. English Drum & Bass pioneer Adam F extensively sampled “Westchester Lady” on his 1995 breakthrough release Circles. Röyksopp sampled his version of “You’re as Right as Rain” for their instrumental track “Eple.” In addition, James is mentioned in a verse by André 3000 on “Black Ice” from Goodie Mob’s second album Still Standing.Close
David Sanborn has released 24 albums, won six Grammy Awards, and has had eight Gold albums and one Platinum album. Having inspired countless other musicians, Dave has worked in many genres which typically blend instrumental pop, R&B and lately, more and more traditional jazz. He released his first solo album Taking Off in 1975, but has been playing the saxophone since before he was in high school when he was inspired by the great Chicago blues artists near his hometown of St. Louis. Having contracted polio at the age of three, Dave was introduced to the saxophone as part of his treatment therapy. By the age of 14, he was able to play with legends such as…Read More
Albert King and Little Milton. Dave went on to study music at Northwestern University before transferring to the University of Iowa where he played and studied with the great saxophonist JR Monterose.
Later traveling to California on the advice of a friend, he joined the Butterfield Blues Band and played Woodstock with Paul Butterfield. Following that, Dave toured with Stevie Wonder and recorded for Wonder’s Talking Book album, played with The Rolling Stones, and toured with David Bowie with whom he recorded the famous solo heard on “Young Americans”. At the same time, Dave was touring and recording with the great Gil Evans, dividing his time between the two. After moving to New York City and studying with George Coleman, Dave started his solo career where he later collaborated with such artists as Paul Simon and James Taylor.
Dave’s solo release of Taking Off in 1975—still considered a classic—further solidified his career. His 1979 release of Hideaway became a popular hit and further propelled Dave’s ascent with the single, “Seduction” being featured in the movie, American Gigolo. Veteran bassist and composer Marcus Miller joined Dave on the 1981 album, Voyeur. The single, “All I Need Is You” won Dave his first Grammy Award for Best R&B Instrumental Performance. In 1983, Dave released the hit album Backstreet that included Luther Vandross as a featured guest vocalist. Later albums have included guest artists such as Jack DeJohnette, Bill Frisell, Charlie Hayden, Wallace Roney, Kenny Barron, Christian McBride, and Eric Clapton.
Moving onto television, Dave hosted the show, Night Music from 1988 to 1990. Produced by Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels, the show featured films of jazz legends like Thelonious Monk, Dave Brubeck and Billie Holiday, as well as banter and memorable music jams by a remarkable list of musicians including Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis, Joe Sample, Pharoah Sanders, and many others. Additionally, Dave has regularly hosted the “After New Year’s Eve” TV special on ABC. During the 1980s and 1990s, Dave hosted a syndicated radio program, The Jazz Show with David Sanborn. Dave has also recorded many shows’ theme songs as well as several other songs for The Late Late Show with Tom Snyder.
In his long career, Dave has released 24 albums, won six Grammy Awards, and has had eight Gold albums and one Platinum album. He continues to be one of the most highly active musicians of his genre.. Considered as a whole, Dave is an artist who pushes the limits and continues to make music that challenges the mind and goes Straight to The Heart.
Marcus Miller has been dubbed one of the most influential artists of our time. At the top of his game for over 30 years, he is a two-time Grammy award winner, (U.S.), winner of the 2013 Edison Award for Lifetime Achievement In Jazz (Holland), winner of the 2010 Victoire du Jazz (France) and in 2013, was appointed a UNESCO Artist For Peace. His characteristic bass sound can be heard on a limitless catalog of musical hits from Bill Wither’s “Just The Two Of Us” , to Luther Vandross’ “Never Too Much”, to songs from Chaka Khan, David Sanborn, Herbie Hancock, Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin, George Benson, Elton John and Bryan Ferry to name a few. With his distinctive style…Read More
– a unique combination of funk, groove, soul and pure technical skills – Miller has been referred to as one of the most significant bass players in jazz, R &B, fusion and soul. Bass Player Magazine includes him on its list of ten most influential jazz players of this generation. In addition to these career highlights, Miller has a rich and very deep resume of outstanding collaborations, including a 15- year song-writing and production partnership with Luther Vandross, resulting in 13 consecutive platinum selling albums of which Miller Produced 7, and a double Grammy win in 1992 – for the double platinum selling album Power Of Love/Love Power winning “Best R & B Vocal” as well as “Best R & B Song”. It was the last # 1 R & B album for twelve years before Vandross’ mega cross-over pop hit Dance With My Father in 2001.
Miller also left an indelible mark on the careers of artists as varied and talented as David Sanborn, Roberta Flack, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Al Jarreau, Bob James, Lalah Hathaway and Wayne Shorter. Most notable, after several years of touring in Miles Davis’ band in the early 80’s, Miller developed a close professional and personal relationship with Davis which led to his collaboration on three critically acclaimed albums – the most famous being the ground-breaking album and title song Tutu, making Miller the last primary producer, arranger and composer for this great jazz legend. The album and title song, which Miller composed, produced, arranged and performed on, is widely regarded as a significant addition to the canon of contemporary jazz music. Not only did the album win two Grammy awards, it is considered to be one of the definitive Miles Davis albums of our time.
Most Miller aficionados know that as a composer, Miller has an endless list of film and television credits to his name. Miller rose from writing the go-go mega hit ‘Da Butt’ for Spike Lee’s 1988 filmSchool Daze to becoming the go-to composer for over 20 top urban movies. His film scores include the cult-classic House Party( feat. Kid ‘N Play – 1990); the Eddie Murphy/Halle Berry classic filmBoomerang (1992); Above The Rim (feat. Tupac Shakur and Marlon Wayans -1994); Two Can Play That Game (feat. Vivica Fox, Gabrielle Union, Morris Chestnut and Anthony Anderson – 2001); This Christmas (feat. Idris Elba and Chris Brown – 2007); the Chris Rock cult classic Good Hair (2009); and About Last Night (feat. Kevin Hart and Regina Bell – 2014). Marcus also supplied the music for the successful weekly TV series Everybody Hates Chris, currently in syndication.
Most recently, Miller composed the music for the Oscar nominated film Marshall (2017) directed by Reginald Hudlin and starring Chadwick Boseman as a young Thurgood Marshall and Emmy-award-winning actor Sterling Brown from the hit TV series This Is Us. The film was the winner of the 2017 Chicago International Film Festival award; the 2017 African American Film Critics Award; the 2017 Hollywood Film Festival Award, and was also a 2017 Image and Critics Choice award nominee, and received five NAACP Image award nominations.
As if that weren’t enough, Miller also broadcasts two weekly radio shows – one in the U.S. and the other in the U.K. Jazz with Marcus Miller On MillerTime (affectionately referred to as The Marcus Party by fans) airs every Sunday on SiriusXM. Miller’s radio show in London is called TransAtlantic Jazz With Marcus Miller and broadcasts each Wednesday on Jazz FM in the UK. Miller is also the annual host and head-line artist on multiple jazz cruises each year offered by Entertainment Cruise Productions including the very popular Blue Note At Sea jazz cruise, as well as the Smooth Jazz Cruise – all of which sell out each year.
On top of all of this, Miller has been a prolific artist and bandleader in his own right for well over 20 years, having released over a dozen albums under his name. Miller tours extensively worldwide with a band of gifted young musicians – perhaps reminding audiences of a certain Miles Davis who did the same for Miller and other young musicians like Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter.
Miller is the performer/composer/producer and arranger of ten critically acclaimed solo projects, among them The Sun Don’t Lie (feat. Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter); Tales (feat. Me’Shell NdegéOcello and Q-Tip) Silver Rain (feat. guest artist Eric Clapton) Free (feat. Corinne Bailey Rae); A Night In Monte Carlo (feat. the Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra) and Renaissance (2012). His album M2 won the Grammy award for best Contemporary Jazz Album in 2001.
In 2015, Miller released Afrodeezia, an album inspired by his role as a UNESCO spokesperson for the Slave Routes Project. For that album, Miller incorporated musical influences from countries along the Atlantic slave route passage, collaborating with musicians from West Africa, North Africa, South America and the Caribbean. The album earned a 2016 Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Jazz Album and Miller performed more than 250 sold-out shows worldwide behind the album’s release.
Miller’s current project – the new genre-defying album Laid Black, brings the story of the Afrodeeziajourney “home” where we find Miller incorporating more modern, urban elements into his music from trap, hiphop, R&B to gospel. Of this music, Miller says: “After Afrodeezia where I did a lot of traveling all over the world, I thought it would be cool to bring into the mix, some of the influences of our time that I was listening to right here at home. My band and the guest artists I recruited to collaborate with on this album are all versatile enough to play music ranging from be-bop to hip-hop. That made the musical mix I wanted to pursue on this album very possible.”
Anyone who has listened to Miller’s music or experienced Miller’s concerts live, knows that they are in for quite an experience with the new album. Miller’s powerful, jazz/funk bass playing is out in full force with this music – pushing boundaries and taking jazz to new levels. Miller, along with his incredible band of young talents, will be sure to excite, challenge and transport audiences.
The new album, Laid Black, features special guest performances by Trombone Shorty, Kirk Whalum, Patches Stewart, Take 6, Jonathan Butler and guest vocalist Selah Sue. Laid Black is certain to thrill and exhilarate Miller fans and will help continue to propel Miller to the world superstar status of fusion, funk, soul and jazz master!Close
The Sheldon Memorial, named after Walter Sheldon who founded the St. Louis branch of the Ethical Society, was designed by the noted 1904 World's Fair architect Louis C. Spiering and opened its doors in 1912 as the home of the Ethical Society of St. Louis. Speakers such as Margaret Mead, Thurgood Marshall, R. Buckminster Fuller, Norman Cousins and Martha Gellhorn have spoken from its stage and the St. Louis Chapter of the League of Women Voters was founded in The Sheldon's Green Room. The day after music was first heard in The Sheldon, the headline in the St. Louis Globe Democrat declared: "Acoustics found perfect." Musicians and music lovers have been enjoying those perfect acoustics for over 100 years and the Sheldon Concert Hall has been called "The Carnegie Hall of the Midwest."
Today The Sheldon is the site of over 350 events each year, including great jazz, folk and classical music in the Sheldon Concert Hall, featuring the world's finest musicians. Artists such as Dave Brubeck, Diana Krall, José Carreras, Herbie Hancock, Doc Watson, Joan Baez, Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, B.B. King, Wynton Marsalis, Judy Collins, Renée Fleming and many more have performed at The Sheldon. In addition, The Sheldon presents a wide range of educational programs and The Sheldon Art Galleries present a wide range of exhibits in photography, architecture, St. Louis artists and collections, jazz history, children's art, sculpture and emerging artists.