Boney James – Pure

Boney James
(Warner – 2004)
by Carmen Miller

Pure debuted at number 9 on the R&B album chart and number 66 on the POP chart… not bad for a smooth jazz release. The opening track Pure is all honey and harmony. Better With Time is an ‘old school cut’ featuring vocalist Bilal; this track straddles the R&B line but that’s the trend nowadays, and this is a sweet tune. Bilal is very expressive and the interaction with Boney’s sax is a true groove.

2:01 is sweet and strong, reminds you of the city lights in Chicago from the lake shore at night. You can feel the power. Stone Groove is another jam among the many jars here and features a great piano spot by Joe Sample. Appreciate, It’s On… the list goes on and on. Thinkin Bout Me is sweaty hot.. You Don’t Have To Go Home tells a story as it grooves you along… all the tracks are GREAT.

This album was produced by Bob James and featuring a broad spectrum of artists. They brought old school cats like Jerry Hay, Bill Reichenbach of Seawind fame, Tony Maiden of Rufus and Chaka Khan, Joe Sample, Billy Preston and Ricky Lawson and the new schoolers like Ahmir “Qwestlove” Thompson, vocalist Dwele, Jon B., Bilal and Debi Nova.

It’s no wonder Boney has won awards and hearts in the smooth jazz AND R&B factions. His albums are expressive and funky, skillful and moving, and the addition of Bob James puts the quality of this CD over the top… Boney’s best to date.