by Boney James Boney James


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Title aside, there is something very familiar about Futuresoul, Boney James' follow-up to 2013's Grammy-winning Beat. With a modern production approach, there is a deliberate look back at his great inspiration, Grover Washington, Jr., in particular, the late saxophonist's groundbreaking period between 1975 and 1983. Washington, then recording for Kudu, was deeply influenced by vintage soul music and equally taken with funk. He melded them seamlessly with warm, melodic jazz in a welcoming tone and songlike phrasing that virtually created the "smooth jazz" genre. Those tropes influenced and benefited James greatly; he's continued to evolve and transform the music since his 1992 debut album, Trust. His tone here is pure retro analog, while the rest of Futuresoul's sounds derive from the current production techniques of R&B and pop. He collaborated with several co-producers, including Jarius Mozee on the slinky club floor opener "Drumline," and with Dwele on the fingerpopping summertime groove in the title track. Stokley (Williams) makes a vocal appearance on the lovely crossover tune "Either Way." While the scratchy sample at the intro to "Vinyl" is perhaps too obvious, the melody is low, sexy, and slow, with elegantly layered and harmonically staggered saxophones. Rob Bacon's chunky guitar and Nutty P Beats' loops and spacy synths are tastefully stitched into the backdrop. The ballad "Hand in Hand," with Darrell Smith's programmed loops and low-end keyboard bass, is lithe and romantic, though the earthy, Southern gospel tinge of Tim Carmon's B-3 adds roots and depth. Closer "Far from Home" features the muted trumpet of Marquis Hill as a lyric foil for James. Carmon's acoustic piano fills, Vinnie Colaiuta's impressionistic drums, and Lenny Castro's illustrative percussion add a restrained yet cinematic feel to the track. While Futuresoul may not have the outward propulsive force of Beat, it is its flipside: a more lyrical outing that tastefully and thoughtfully melds grooves from the history of smooth and contemporary jazz to modern adult R&B.

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Product Details

Release Date: 05/04/2015
Label: Concord Records
UPC: 0888072368316
catalogNumber: 36831
Rank: 27699


  1. Drumline
  2. Vinyl
  3. A Little Attitude
  4. Watchu Gon' Do About It?
  5. Either Way
  6. Hand In Hand
  7. Fortuneteller
  8. The Moment
  9. futuresoul
  10. Far From Home

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Boney James   Primary Artist,Piano,Keyboards,Alto Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone,keyboard bass
Phil Davis   Keyboards
Alex Al   Bass
Lenny Castro   Percussion
Vinnie Colaiuta   Drums
Darrell Smith   Keyboards,keyboard bass
Stokley   Vocals
Craig Brockman   Keyboards
Tim Carmon   Piano,Fills,Hammond B3
Gerald McCauley   Electric Piano,Synthaxe
Dwele   Keyboards
Omari Williams   Drums,Toms
Dwayne "Smitty" Smith   Bass
Rob Bacon   Guitar
Marquis Hill   Trumpet
Jairus Mozee   Bass,Guitar,Keyboards
Keenan Ephriam   Drums
Nutty P Beats   Synthesizer,Synthesizer Bass
Nikeita Crichlow   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Phil Davis   Composer
Boney James   Composer,Producer,Engineer,drum programming
Linda Creed   Composer
David Rideau   Engineer
Darrell Smith   Composer,Producer,drum programming
Mark Stephens   Composer
Stokley   Composer
Craig Brockman   Composer
Gerald McCauley   Composer,Producer
Tom Bell   Composer
Dwele   Producer,drum programming
Andwele Gardner   Composer
Jairus Mozee   Composer,Producer,drum programming
Keenan Ephriam   Composer,drum programming
Nutty P Beats   Producer,drum programming
Nikeita Crichlow   Composer
Malcolm Eric Murray   Composer
Anna Lian Tes   Art Direction

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