Bob James (born December 25, 1939) is a two-time Grammy Award-winning jazz keyboardist. Though he has recorded a couple of straight jazz albums, most of his recordings contain "pop-jazz" which is a type of instrumental pop music. Bob James was an important figure in turning 1970s fusion jazz more commercial. For their album One on One, Earl Klugh and Bob James received a Grammy award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance of 1981.
Lonnie Liston Smith, Jr. (born December 28, 1940 in Richmond, Virginia) is an American jazz, soul, and funk musician who played with important free jazz artists such as Pharoah Sanders and Miles Davis before forming Lonnie Liston Smith And The Cosmic Echoes, recording a number of albums widely regarded as classics in the fusion / Quiet Storm / smooth jazz and acid jazz genres. Lonnie was born into a musical family; his father was a member of Richmond Gospel music group The Harmonizing Four...
James "Blood" Ulmer (born February 2, 1942 in St. Matthews, South Carolina) is an American avant-garde jazz and blues guitarist and singer. Ulmer's distinctive guitar sound has been described as "jagged" and "stinging." His singing has been called "raggedly soulful." Ulmer began his career playing with various soul jazz ensembles, and first recorded with organist John Patton in 1969. After moving to New York in 1971, Ulmer played with Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers, Joe Henderson, Paul Bley, Rashied Ali and Larry Young.
British synth player, born December 10, 1958. Enjoyed success on the underground dance scene in the early 80's before breaking into the mainstream with "19", an international smash which spent five weeks at number one in the UK. In the latter half of the 1980s he specialised in tv soundtrack work. He made the theme tunes for Top of The Pops and Saturday Live, popular British entertainment shows. Paul now records mainly under the pseudonym Jazzmasters. Early tracks of note include the popular 'Rain Forest' and 'King Tut', both were big dance hits in the U.S.
Charles Lloyd (b. March 15, 1938) is an American jazz musician, playing mostly tenor saxophone along with flute and tarogato.
He started his career by playing together with Chico Hamilton and Cannonball Adderley.
In the latter half of the 60s, his own quartet with Keith Jarrett, Cecil McBee and Jack DeJohnette was one of the most popular jazz bands of the time. Their album Forest Flower is one of the best-selling jazz albums ever.
In the 70s Lloyd was mostly retired from music, but came back in the 80s after being persuaded doing so by French pianist Michel Petrucciani.
Norman Connors (born March 1, 1947 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American jazz drummer, composer, arranger, producer, and headliner, who has led some influential jazz and R&B groups. He had some big R&B hits of the day, especially in the area love ballads and songs with a positive statement in both titles and lyrics. Connors became interested in jazz as a child, and began playing drums early, once sitting in for Elvin Jones at a John Coltrane performance he attended while in middle school.
Chuck Loeb is a skillful guitarist capable of numerous styles of music, most notably jazz. Loeb's own solo projects have generally been commercially successful crossover jazz, which has "contemporary" or "smooth" jazz. He started playing guitar when he was 11, discovered jazz when he was 16, took lessons from Jim Hall, Pat Metheny and Joe Puma, and attended the Berklee College of Music. Loeb freelanced in New York (with Hubert Laws, Chico Hamilton, Joe Farrell among others) and then in 1979 joined Stan Getz's group for two years.
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, January 8th, 1960, to a mother who loved music and a father who played the piano as a hobby, Dave started playing drums around the age of 8. During his high school years he received many awards from the NAJE (National Association of Jazz Educators) for his outstanding performances in his high school's competition winning jazz band, and was involved with numerous local groups from a very early age while studying with St.