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Angela (Theme From 'Taxi') - Bob James (1978)

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Published on Dec 5, 2010

Robert McElhiney James (born December 25, 1939) is a jazz and jazz fusion keyboardist, arranger and producer. During the 1970s, Bob James played a major role in turning fusion jazz more mainstream. "Angela", the instrumental theme from the 1970s television sitcom "Taxi", is probably Bob James' most well-known work to date. It was featured on "Touchdown", a 1978 jazz album which was a commercial breakout album for him. The song was named after the guest character in the third episode of the first season ("Blind Date"), but after hearing the song, the producers made this the show's main theme, replacing their previous choice, which became this album's title track. The title of the album is a reference to it being his sixth solo album, a touchdown being worth six points in American football. In addition to his solo work and high-profile collaborations with artists such as Earl Klugh and David Sanborn, James is also the founding member of contemporary jazz supergroup Fourplay. Very influenced by pop and movie music, James has often featured soloists who add a jazz touch to his sound (most notably Grover Washington, Jr.). While best known for his fusion sound, James began in 1962, recording a bop-ish trio set for Mercury. Three years later, his album for ESP was quite avant-garde, with electronic tapes used for effects. James is recognized as one of the progenitors of smooth jazz. His music has also had a profound effect on the history of hip-hop and pop music, having been sampled often. Two of James' songs -- "Nautilus" from 1974's "One" and "Take Me To The Mardi Gras" from 1975's "Two" -- are among the most sampled in hip-hop history, sampled in thirty-two and forty-three hip-hop recordings, respectively. James' music has been most famously sampled by Eric B. & Rakim, Run-D.M.C., Ghostface Killah, Slick Rick, LL Cool J, The Beastie Boys, Missy Elliott, Will.i.am, Common, Wu-Tang Clan, Röyksopp, De La Soul, Warren G, André 3000, and N.W.A, among many others. This channel is dedicated to the classic jazz music you've loved for years. The smokin' hot, icy cool jams that still make you tap your feet whenever you hear them . . . Cool Jazz is here!

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Copyright 1978 Columbia/Tappan Zee Records
All Rights Reserved

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