James Robert "Bob" Belden (October 31, 1956 – May 20, 2015) was an American saxophonist, arranger, composer, bandleader, and producer] He may be best-known for his Grammy Award winning jazz orchestral recording, Black Dahlia. As producer he is mostly associated with the seminal reissue of the recordings by Miles Davis for Columbia Records.
Mr. Belden was a true rara avis: a student of music history who was committed to leaving his own mark on the musical timeline. He wrote music and led his own ensembles—including The Treasure Island Band, Imagination and most recently Animation—the group with which he recently toured Iran to sellout crowds, generating major headlines (“The first time an American musician had played in Iran since 1979,” jazz critic Ben Ratliff noted in The New York Times.). He earned six GRAMMY® Award nominations for his own recordings, and as a reissue producer and writer of especially insightful liner notes; of these, he won three. His most celebrated albums include the critically acclaimed orchestral jazz suite Black Dahlia (a Downbeat magazine “Masterpiece” in 2001), and his blending of world folk sources with the music of Miles Davis: Miles from India (2007) and Miles Español: New Sketches of Spain (2011). (“As a bandleader and record maker, he often looked for ways to connect the jazz tradition to other energies,” Ratliff also wrote.)