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Boney James Makes Joyous Return with 'Contact'

  • Doug Levine

Boney James' "Contact" CD

Boney James' "Contact" CD

Saxophonist Boney James couldn’t be happier about the release of his new album, Contact. The album marks his return to the studio after a car crash that nearly claimed his life.

Boney is fully recovered and sounding better than ever following a fiery accident that left him with a fractured jaw and two broken teeth. It could have been a lot worse. Driving home from a performance at the Newport Jazz Festival in California last May, he was stopped in traffic on the San Diego Freeway when a car slammed into his vehicle, then burst into flames. Boney was pulled to safety and rushed to a nearby hospital.

Saxophonist Boney James

Saxophonist Boney James

Miraculously, he was back onstage less than two months later, feeling lucky to be alive and grateful that his injuries didn’t end his career. He commented that being able to play his horn again was the best thing in the world.

According to Boney, the title of his new album has several references, such as an electrical contact. “Once I started getting deeper into the record and writing lyrics for the vocal songs, it seemed to me to be also about love, the connection between people and the frequent regret people experience as a result of missed opportunities,” he explains.

One of four guest vocalists on Contact is r&b star, Mario, who sings “That Look On Your Face.”

James Oppenheim, who performs as "Boney James", turns 50 on September 1. Billboard Magazine recently named him one of the Top Contemporary Jazz Artists of the Decade.