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Bob James on NPR!

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Tune in to The Tavis Smiley Show on NPR on Tuesday, March 2nd to hear Grammy Award winning pianist Bob James discuss his brand new CD, Take It From The Top.

Those who have followed his career from the early years know that Grammy Award winning musician/composer and arranger Bob James' first work and records were trio projects. And, with his new release on Koch Entertainment Take It From The Top, James takes us back to his roots with a personal recording in tribute to the great pianists who were so influential in his career. Take It From The Top features friends and musical collaborators Billy Kilson on drums and James Genus on bass and was produced by James with Ken Freeman at the board in February of 2003 at the Hit Factory in New York.

For Take It From The Top, James has chosen personal favorite standards by Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, Ahmad Jamal and others, as well as the music of Duke Ellington, Mal Waldron, John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet and Nat King Cole. Cole is represented here by his composition “Straighten Up & Fly Right." Bob felt he could not do a tribute album without including Glenn Gould, but even Bob was too humble to try to play any of his greats. Therefore he came up with a creative alternative. As it turns out, Gould was a huge fan of Petula Clark, and therefore Bob decided to include his own arrangement of her hit “Downtown."

Bob, Billy and James have literally traveled the world together. They've played many of the traditional festivals, North Sea, Montreux, Nice. Their performance at the Ocean Blue Festival in Japan in 2000 stopped the show and was recorded by NHK. Their most recent performances in November 2003 took them to London's Jazz Cafe where they performed live for the first time the tracks from this exciting recording.

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