Robert McElhiney “Bob” James (born December 25, 1939) is an American two-time Grammy Award-winning smooth jazz keyboardist, arranger and record producer. He is recognized as one of the original founders of smooth jazz, is renowned for the complexity of his arrangements and instrumentals, and his work is frequently sampled. Earl Klugh (born September 16, 1953) is an American jazz guitarist and composer. In 2006 Modern Guitar magazine wrote that Klugh “is considered by many to be one of the finest acoustic guitar players today.”
This collaboration between the two light jazz veterans is pretty much what one would expect from an album brought to you by two contemporary jazzmen: pleasant music, technically brilliant, emotionally dead. Pianist James and guitarist Klugh complement each other well on this far-reaching set, but without an iota of attachment to the music, it’s really all for naught.
This album is great as background music at a social function or just to listen to while relaxing.
The album starts out great with “Movin’ On” and keeps the pace up throughout the entire album. The transitions from selection to selection are smooth and have no jarring shifts from mellow selections to upbeat selections. Even songs like “New York Samba” with it’s slightly busy and upbeat tempo blends in with the other selections.
Bob James’ outing with guitarist Earl Klugh takes the listener on an extremely relaxing journey on this 1992 release. Cool songs James’ soft-edged keyboards blend effortlessly with Klugh’s acoustic guitar, while Harvey Mason maintains steady, soft percussion in the background, and bassist Gary King jams gently along.
A true collaborative effort, all but two of the 12 tracks were composed by either James or Klugh, and they accompany one another throughout the recording. There are some top-notch arrangements, including Klugh’s “The Sponge,” “New York Samba,” and James’ “The Night That Love Came Back,” which many listeners will find the perfect romantic backdrop.
1. Movin’ On (7:33)
2. As It Happens (6:26)
3. So Much In Common (6:16)
4. Fugitive Life (5:50)
5. The Night That Love Came Back (4:37)
6. Secret Wishes (6:01)
7. New York Samba (5:49)
8. Handara (6:22)
9. The Sponge (5:50)
10. Terpsichore (7:54)
11. San Diego Stomp (5:21)
12. Miniature (2:44)
- Bass – Gary King, Ron Carter
- Design – Paula Scher
- Drums – Harvey Mason
- Engineer – Alec Head
- Engineer [Assistant] – Todd Childress, Todd Whitelock
- Engineer, Mixed By – Ray Bardani
- Guitar – Paul Pesco
- Guitar, Producer, Programmed By – Earl Klugh
- Keyboards, Producer – Bob James
- Mastered By – Bob Ludwig
- Percussion – Leonard “Doc” Gibbs
- Photography – John Paul Endress
- Programmed By – Max Risenhoover, Michael Colina
Recorded at Soundtrack Recording Studios, New York, New York.
Style: Easy Listening
Label – Warner Bros. Records