KOCH Records is has announced the release of Angels of Shanghai, the new album by legendary recording artist Bob James, on April 10th, 2007. This unique East meets West musical exploration features contemporary jazz artists (including James himself, Fourplay's Nathan East and Harvey Mason, Jack Lee, Lewis Pragasam) interacting with young musicians from Shanghai who perform on traditional Chinese instruments, including include the er-hu (a two string violin), the pipa (similar to a lute), guzheng (a cross between a harp & a zither) and dizi (different sized bamboo flutes). Ancient sounds blend with modern technology and creativity to produce an experience with no boundaries.
This project has been a very personal journey for James, literally in the thousands of miles traveled and creatively in his connection to this young, talented and outstanding group of musicians. His collaboration with these remarkable young musicians began with a visit by Bob to the Shanghai Conservatory of Music where he was so impressed with their creativity and enthusiasm that two more trips to Shanghai followed -- for recording sessions at the Shanghai People's Radio Station Studios. The project came full circle with completion of this full CD -- which has already been released in Japan and in Korea.
Although a unique project in many ways, at its heart Angels of Shanghai is still a Bob James recording. This cross-cultural collaboration will garner many new fans, but its blend of contemporary jazz with strong melodies and exotic textures will also satisfy Bob's many longtime and faithful followers. The CD features nine original Bob James compositions, including Celebration, Dream With Me, and Angels Theme: The Invention of Love. Endless Time is co-written by fellow Fourplay member, Nathan East, who also sings lead vocals. A special treat is a new Angels of Shanghai version of Bob's signature composition: the classic theme from "Taxi," here titled Angela With Purple Bamboo.
Summing up his passion and enthusiasm for Angels of Shanghai, Bob James says, "I love seeing the universal power of music work its magic to cross borders even when political solutions seem impossible. I invite you to come along on this adventure."
The Angels group has performed live at the Bangkok Jazz Festival, the Java Jazz Festival in Jakarta, at the Seongnam Arts Center in Seoul and, finally, at the Blue Note Nite Clubs in Japan. A U.S. tour is planned for April 2007. Cities include Traverse City and Monroe, Michigan, Cleveland Heights, Ohio, Pittsburgh, Pa, New York City and Huntington, Long Island.