Robert McElhiney James (born December 25, 1939) is a jazz keyboardist, arranger and producer.
During the 1970s, Bob James played a major role in establishing the smooth jazz genre. "Angela", the instrumental theme from the sitcom Taxi, is probably Bob James' most well-known work to date. He is also well-known for the smooth jazz classics "Nautilus" and "Westchester Lady", the latter from the album Bob James Three.
For their first joint album release, One on One, Earl Klugh and Bob James received a Grammy award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance of 1981. James is the founding member of contemporary jazz supergroup Fourplay and is a Yamaha Artist.
James also received a Grammy award for his collaboration with David Sanborn on the 1986 album "Double Vision.
Very influenced by pop and movie music, James has often featured soloists who add a jazz touch to his sound (most notably Grover Washington, Jr.). In 1962, James began recording a bop-ish trio set for Mercury. Three years later, his album for ESP was quite avant-garde, with electronic tapes used for effects. After a period with Sarah Vaughan (1965–1968), he became a studio musician, appearing with Stanley Turrentine and Milt Jackson on the 1972 album Cherry and with Turrentine on his following album Don't Mess with Mister T. (1973), and that same year was arranging and working as a producer for CTI. In 1974, James recorded his first purely commercial effort as a leader; he later made big-selling albums for his own Tappan Zee label, Columbia, and Warner Bros., including collaborations with Earl Klugh and David Sanborn.
Bob James (25 de diciembre de 1939) es un tecladista, arreglador y productor de jazz y jazz fusion.
Durante los años setenta, Bob James tuvo un papel importante en convertir el jazz fusión en música popular. Angela, el tema instrumental de la comedia de situaciones Taxi, es posiblemente la obra más conocida de Bob James. También son conocidas sus obras de fusión Westchester lady (del disco Bob James Three) y Nautilus.
James es reconocido como uno de los progenitores del smooth jazz (jazz suave). Su música ha tenido un profundo efecto en la historia de la música hip hop, y ha sido sampleada frecuentemente. Dos canciones de James —Nautilus (del disco One, de 1974) y Take me to the Mardi Gras (del disco Two, de 1975)— se encuentran entre las canciones más sampleadas en la historia del hip hop.