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. More Info