February 1

I only have one album with a football on its cover, Bob James – Touchdown.

Since it is Super Bowl Sunday I thought this morning might be a good time for me to call an audible.

The kick-off for this record, James’ 6th, is a song called Angela, which we all know as the pre-game from the T.V. show Taxi. As with many James records its roster is chock full of known players, David Sanborn, Earl Klugh, Hubert Laws… with plenty of seasoned session players in the backfield. The extra point here is the 8+ minute Caribbean Nights that takes up the whole 4th quarter of the record.

For some reason this genre of music, Smooth Jazz, makes me think of certain movie soundtracks… let’s just say movies targeted at… adults. It has an open collared, gold chain, tinted glasses, astro-turf swagger to it. Anyway, with electric piano and Fender Rhodes looming on the line of scrimmage, the album is far from heavy. Neither offensive nor defensive.

This LP was one of four Bob James records I got from my RRR Auction/Estate haul… all pre-1983. This puts them in the first quarter for early sampling. A quick look at the great site Who Sampled shows numerous James tracks were, and continue to be, sampled by varsity as well as bench-warmer hip-hop artists.

Let’s review some tape:

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