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The Vogel presents Boney James

originally published: 01/21/2024

The Vogel presents Boney James

Photo by Describe the Fauna

(RED BANK, NJ) -- The Vogel presents jazz/R&B sax player Boney James on Thursday, March 14, 2024 at 8:00pm. Tickets range from $99.50 - $129.50.

Detour, on Concord Records, was his 18th studio album. Appropriately titled, this latest album is a subtle stylistic turn that built on the commercial success of 2020’s Solid, his highest charting release ever on the pop charts, peaking in the Top 10 on the Billboard 200.

“The urge to write again came from the joy of being back on the road, performing in front of live audiences,” explains Boney. “I had shut down creatively when the pandemic hit. It was the disruptive and disorienting detour we all took when the world locked down, and that’s reflected in the more experimental directions some of the new music takes. The thing about a detour, you may take a different route, but you still get to your destination.”

Like Solid, Detour provides a welcome respite from an increasingly foreboding world filled with political strife. It’s a trip through James’ distinctive contemporary jazz/R&B landscapes, layered in quicksilver watercolor images and cinematic set pieces. Detour represents the next extension of Boney James’ trademark blend of genres which includes blues, soul, roots, classical, art-pop and hip-hop.

“There are some people who think I’m a legend,” laughs Boney about his status as one of the best-kept secrets in music. “And others who have never heard of me. It’s kind of a nice place to live and play in. I do sense a great deal of positive energy towards the music I’ve been making recently and for that, I’m tremendously grateful.”



 
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“Coastin’” featuring Lalah Hathaway, a breezy ride through Malibu on the Pacific Coast Highway, will be the first single at Urban Adult Contemporary radio. “I am so thrilled to finally have the opportunity to collaborate with Lalah,” says Boney. “I am a huge fan and it was a complete joy to co-write this song and have her come over and sing this amazing performance.”

James’ latest album gets underway with the title track, a winding, playful duet between sax and piano evoking a breezy, leisurely drive on an open road, that features some of Boney’s most adventurous playing.  “I close my eyes and listen,” he says about choosing a name for a particular cut, and “Detour” fits this one perfectly. “The title is my trying to poetically convey what I feel when I listen to the music.”

There are also “detours” along the way for a steamy, sweaty summer day in a bluesy “Memphis,” a shimmering glimpse of the aurora borealis via Boney’s chill-inducing soprano sax solo (“Northern Lights”) and even the fleeting present moment in the heartbeat which opens the closing “Blur,” a wistful lullaby that still manages to point us to the future.

“Tribute” is a eulogy to Boney’s father, an entertainment attorney who represented him for most of his life, who died last October. It’s a rhythmically complex neo-classical meditation, both “harmonically jazzy,” but with a finger-snapping hip-hop pulse. “The Loop” takes a drumbeat from touring drummer Omari Williams (looped, of course) recorded in mono directly to Boney’s iPhone and, yes, detours into a winding, twangy Wes Montgomery-esque blues guitar solo that gently waxes and wanes like a rolling tidal wave. “It’s pretty wild,” says Boney. There’s a seductive intimacy to the sax/bass duet in “Intention,” an idea that came from production team Anakin & Vader.

Detour was recorded largely at Boney’s L.A. home studio in his backyard (live drums and percussion were tracked at venerable Sunset Sound), with both regular collaborators like former band guitarist, now an in-demand writer/producer, Jairus “J-Mo” Mozee (Anderson.Paak, Nicki Minaj, Anthony Hamilton) and hot newcomer BeatsMadeByFresh aka Christian Frazier. Among the other musicians on the album are keyboardist Tim Carmon (Eric Clapton), longtime drummer Omari Williams and bassist Alex Al, renowned percussionist Lenny Castro, and guitarists Big Mike Hart and Paul Jackson Jr.

Tickets range from $99.50 - $129.50 and are available for purchase online. The Vogel is located at 99 Monmouth Street in Red Bank, New Jersey.



 
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