Boney James

You'd think he'd get tired of the question, but no, nü jazz saxophonist Boney James is happy to retell the story of how he got his nickname, Boney. "I was on tour and the per diem wasn't very much. I kept running out of money, so I told somebody, 'Man, I'm not going to be able to eat for the next couple of days.' Well, I was already pretty thin, so he said, 'Man, you're going to get all boney, James.' And from then on I was Boney James."

James's latest CD, Shine, features James with a half-dozen of his closest musical friends, including Faith Evans, Philip Bailey and George Duke. It's his first release on the Concord label, and it seems James pulled out all the stops. From Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Águas de Março/Waters of March" to Chuck Mangione's "Soft," James is his usual smooth, R&B-tinged self.

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Olivia Flores Alvarez