March 4, 2024

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CD review: Christopher James – A Rose in The Canyon 2022: Video, CD cover

Bob Dylan once famously said, “I’ll let you be in my dream if I can be in yours.” Christopher James’ music, elegantly conceived and profoundly felt, makes that happen.

They’re the raw material of our reactions to artistic expressions. They form the building blocks of our private narrative responses to what we’ve seen and heard. Composer Christopher James and his supporting cast which includes two of New York’s most talented orchestrators and several first call instrumentalists construct evocative musical experiences that generate parallel impressions in our own hearts and minds.

Does one need to be familiar with a particular brand of ‘60-‘70s television crime drama to appreciate “The Mighty Quinn (Martin)”? Or the whimsical eccentricities of British prog-pop to unlock “Dr. Blowhard Stumples”? Of course not, although a visit to one’s favorite search engine may offer additional colors and tones to one’s own listening landscape. There is wit here, but also something deeper: an engagement with pop cultural archeology that opens a door for the uninitiated through the alchemy of music.

“The Enigmatic City,” “Baile de los Perros,” and the title piece, “A Rose in the Canyon,” offer something else: sonic maps to territories we might already know, consciously or subconsciously. Or perhaps a dimensional gateway from Christopher James’ musical imagination to ours. The music doesn’t subvert specific references, it embraces possibility….. Chuck Mitchell

Christopher James (born Christopher James Roberts) is an American composer, producer (Paula Cole, Renée Fleming, Val Gardena) and ex-CEO of Universal Music Group’s Classical and Jazz division. An accomplished classical pianist, he earned a B.A. in Music and German Literature at Lewis and Clark College in his hometown of Portland, Oregon.

His graduate studies in Musicology at the University of Illinois took him to Germany for post-graduate research. He stayed, and for several years he composed and produced music for the German film and television industry. With a style reflecting pop, as well as his classical and jazz training, James’ music was heard in prime time on various German National TV networks. Musical influences include Elton John, Burt Bacharach, Brian Eno, Jimmy Webb, John Barry, George Gershwin, Bach, Chopin, Ravel and Stravinsky.

01.The Enigmatic City
03.Blue in the 2nd Degree
04.Saudade (Theme and Variations)
05.The Mighty Quinn (Martin)
06.Baile de los Perros
07.Dr. Blowhard Stumples
08.A Rose in the Canyon

John Patitucci – Bass
Antonio Sanchez – Drums
Alex Sopp – Flute
Christopher James, Jim Beard, Gil Goldstein – Piano
Ryan Keberle – Trombone

New CD – 2022 – Buy from here

A Rose in the Canyon - JAZZIZ Magazine

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