There's a revolution happening in contemporary music, and saxophone sensation Boney James is at the forefront. Audiences are refusing to be limited by genres, and true artists are stretching beyond any artificial boundaries. Record buyers don't care if they have to find Sweet Thing, Boney's newest CD, in the R&B rack or the Smooth Jazz bin or even the Adult Contemporary aisle. They only care about one thing - bringing the riveting new sound of Boney James up to the cash register and onto the top of the sales charts across the nation.
Crossover appeal has always been the ambition of most recording artists, but unfortunately, it's usually meant crossing over to one genre while leaving another behind. Boney James's success is all the more impressive because with each new release, he continues to hold on to old fans, while gaining new ones. Winner of the 1998 Soul Train Music Award for Best Jazz Album, it's no surprise that Sweet Thing continues Boney's domination of the Smooth Jazz charts, even as it moves onto the R&B radio and sales charts.
"I do work to push the boundaries a little further each time," admits Boney. "I always want to explore new directions, while at the same time, touch on some of the music that was important to my own development - everything from R&B to jazz fusion to Steely Dan. Sweet Thing is a sort of 'live meets loop' approach . . . modern and retro at the same time. And since audiences have responded to it, I think they're looking for something inclusive as well."
It's obvious that audiences are clamoring for what Boney has to offer - just consider the astonishing sales stats for his music. Sweet Thing debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Heatseekers Chart, marking the first time ever that an instrumentalist has held the top spot. His previous CD, Seduction, holds the record for most weeks at No. 1 in airplay for smooth jazz, and earned him a Record of the Year and Artist of the Year Award from The Gavin Report.
On the R&R NAC Chart, Seduction broke all previous records with a run of 17 consecutive weeks at No. 1; on the Gavin Smooth Jazz and Vocals charts, it spent 16 straight weeks at the top; and on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart, it remained in the Top 10 for an entire year. In fact, Seduction remained on Billboard's charts for 104 weeks and would still be there, except for a Billboard policy of limiting listings to a maximum of two years. Seduction made history again by placing four tracks from a single CD in the Top 5 on the national airplay charts. Finally, Seduction garnered a Soul Train Music Awards nomination for Best Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year.
Yet, for all the stunning success of Seduction, Sweet Thing has sold more CD's in the past six months than Seduction did in the last two years. His previous CD's, Backbone and his debut album Trust, began the momentum that has carried Boney to the top ranks of the music industry.
Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, and raised in New Rochelle, New York, Boney began playing clarinet in elementary school, then moved on to the saxophone. "I grew up listening to Earth Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder, Grover Washington Jr., and Return To Forever." Boney's family moved to Los Angeles in 1975, and it was there that Boney began to find outlets for the musical styles he had been developing.
Like many of today's most gifted musicians, Boney honed his craft by playing in garage bands, ultimately becoming both a sought-after onstage and session player, performing with such critically acclaimed artists as Randy Crawford, Morris Day, Ray Parker Jr., The Isley Brothers, Teena Marie, Vesta, Cherelle, and Bobby Caldwell.
The above bio was taken from a media release
by Warner Bros. Records