This is an interesting find.

I didn’t hear anything about this, but the legendary jazz pianist Bob James recently released two albums. One of them is called Espresso (under Bob James Trio), which finds James flipping his own classic 1974 song, Nautilus to give you the track, Submarine. This is on the heels of James realizing how impactful Nautilus came to be in the hiphop community throughout the years, thanks to the community of producers who used his track. Here’s a portion of those who used the infamous track.

According to a 2018 interview with Let The Record Show TV, James explains how the track came to be.

It’s my first and only time that I try to turn the tables, no pun intended. I realized that I can do some sampling on my own album, and try to be creative from my own vantage point…” James said. “But when we got into it,… we decided to try to do it (perform it live).

We’re out on tour now and we’re performing it live, (it’s) very different for me now because of all of the looping and sampling. It’s not the kind of thing I can play live acoustically with the trio.”

Listen to Espresso by clicking the picture above. Peep our previous post where James and 9th Wonder have a conversation about Nautilus.

The second album was released last year, called Once Upon A Time: The Lost 1965 New York Studio Sessions. 

According to the February 2020 press release, these were recordings after the release of his 1962 debut album, Bold Conceptions – produced by Quincy Jones.

The first four tracks on the album were recorded during the January 1965 session by Resonance Records founder George Klabin at Columbia University as a freshman, while James was working in New York with the Sarah Vaughn Band bassist Larry Rockwell and percussionist Robert “Cleve” Pozar, who knew James from University of Michigan – and ended up on his debut album as well as his second album, Explosions. The second half of the album sees James working with Detroit bassist Bill Wood and drummer Omar Clay, another associate from James’ University of Michigan days.

This album was specifically released as a Record Store Day exclusive with a limited amount of copies. Grab your copy now!

January 20, 1965 (with Larry Rockwell on bass and Robert Pozar on drums):

  1. Serenata (5:46)
  2. Once Upon A Time (7:00)
  3. Lateef Minor 7th (7:36)
  4. Variations (6:22)

October 9, 1965 (with Bill Wood on bass and Omar Clay on drums):

  1. Airegin (4:42)
  2. Indian Summer (5:10)
  3. Solar (5:22
  4. Long Forgotten Blues (9:01)


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