Skip to main content

Solid is the four-time GRAMMY nominated saxophonist’s seventeenth album as a leader and will be released by Concord Records, April 17, 2020. Solidfollows up his smash 2017 release Honestly which became his eleventh #1 Billboard Contemporary Jazz Album. 

Sometimes, inspiration is slow in coming, evasive and stubborn. Other times, if an artist is very fortunate, it simply flows, the music practically writing itself. That’s how Solid, the latest release from Boney James came to be. “This record really flowed at an unusually quick pace,” Boney says. “There was a lot of positive energy in making this music. Solid is a very upbeat record. As I was writing them, these songs put a smile on my face.”

Boney James Solid

All of Solid’s eleven tracks were produced and written or co-written by Boney James. Three songs—“Full Effect,” “Tonic” and the title track—were built from licks played at sound-check by touring guitarist Kendall Gilder on the road in support of Honestly. “I said, hey, what’s that riff you’re playing?” James recalls, “And Kendall said, ‘that’s just something I’m messing around with.’ I got my iPhone and recorded them, then took it home and wrote the songs!”

Four other songs were initiated by longtime James collaborator, acclaimed writer/producer Jairus ‘J-Mo’ Mozee (Anderson Paak, Nicki Minaj, Anthony Hamilton). One of those, “Be Here,” was ultimately transformed into Solid’s Adult Urban single featuring special guest Kenny Lattimore, best known for his Top 10 R&B hit “For You.”

“A solid relationship is when someone has your back and will stand by your side no matter what,” explains Boney James about the title of his new CD. “Solidis a word that has a few meanings, but this one really resonated with me and became the theme of the record.”

Says James, “We met at the Soul Train Awards twenty years ago and he said, ‘Some day we need to work together!’ As I was working on ‘Be Here’, I started to hear his voice in my head. I reached out to him and he wrote and recorded the lyrics. It’s such a romantic song and it really reinforced the theme of the record, strong and positive relationships.”

James crafted many of the song titles (“Fresh Air”, “On The Path”, “Tonic)” to play off this theme, “Similar to my last CD Honestly, this new music is a reaction to how stressful the world feels these days. Music is a respite, it’s always ‘solid’ and it never lets me down.”

Boney James’ personal relationship with music has never been anything but solid. Picking up the sax at age 10 in his native New Rochelle, New York, “I immediately loved it, and it pretty quickly became my favorite thing to do.” By the time he entered his teens, James was gigging with bands, and he turned pro at 19. He apprenticed as a sideman for artists like Morris Day, The Isley Brothers, Teena Marie and many others, touring and doing sessions for seven years before cutting his first solo album in 1992. The independently released Trust led immediately to a major label deal and a string of increasingly successful recordings and nonstop touring. 

Now a four-time GRAMMY nominee with four RIAA Gold records and career sales topping three million units, James continues to defy musical genres; A two time NAACP Award nominee, a Soul Train Award winner and named one of the Top 3 Billboard Contemporary Jazz Artists of the Decade.

James, who lives in Los Angeles with his wife of 34 years Director/Actress Lily Mariye, says he’s looking forward to heading out on the road and seeing how the Solid material evolves from night to night. “I love playing live, maybe more than I ever did. A lot of guys get tired of the traveling but it’s still a joy for me every time I go out there and play.”

It’s still a joy to his multitude of fans too. “I try to ‘be there’ for the people who are interested in my music,” says James, “to be Solid in that relationship and to not let anybody down. I often get great compliments from the people that come to my shows, that I ‘never disappoint’ them, and that’s very gratifying to me. That’s what I was trying to express with this title, that sense of character… to stand for something principled.”

Boney James “Solid 2020” Tour Dates:

Feb 14             Long Beach Terrace Theater – Long Beach, CA

Mar 14           Smooth Jazz Cruise – Miami, FL

Mar 15           Smooth Jazz Cruise – Miami, FL

Mar 16           Smooth Jazz Cruise – Miami, FL

Mar 17           Smooth Jazz Cruise – Miami, FL

Mar 18           Smooth Jazz Cruise – Miami, FL

Mar 19           Smooth Jazz Cruise – Miami, FL

Mar 20           Smooth Jazz Cruise – Miami, FL

Mar 27           Earl Klugh’s Weekend Of Jazz At The Broadmoor – Colorado Springs, CO

Apr 03            Berks Jazz Fest/Scottish Rite Cathedral PAC – Reading, PA

Apr 24            Koger Center For The Arts – Columbia, SC

Apr 25            Seabreeze Jazz Festival/Aaron Bessant Amph. – Panama City Beach, FL

Apr 26            Southwest Florida Event Center – Bonita Springs, FL

May 01           Los Cabos Jazz Festival – Cabo San Lucas, MX

May 06           Sony Hall – New York, NY

May 07           NJPAC – Newark, NJ

May 08           Scottish Rite Auditorium – Collingswood, NJ

May 09           John Lyman Center For The Performing Arts – New Haven, CT

May 10           City Winery – Boston, MA

Jun 11             Napa Valley Jazz Getaway/Lincoln Theater – Yountville, CA

Jul 11              Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre – Mableton, GA

Jul 17              Jazz Alley – Seattle, WA

Jul 18              Jazz Alley – Seattle, WA

Jul 19              Jazz Alley – Seattle, WA

Jul 23              Motor City Casino – Detroit, MI

Jul 24              Horseshoe Casino – Hammond, IN

Jul 25              Fitzgerald Theatre – Minneapolis, MN

Aug 30            Hollywood Bowl – Los Angeles, CA

Sep 05             Gulf Coast Summerfest/Pensacola Community Maritime Park – Pensacola, FL

Sep 11             Midland Theatre – Kansas City, MO

Sep 13             City Winery – Nashville, TN

Sep 16             Capitol Theatre – Clearwater, FL

Sep 17             The Plaza Live – Orlando, FL

Sep 19             N. Charleston Performing Arts Center – N. Charleston, SC

Sep 20             Meymandi Performing Arts Center – Raleigh, NC

Sep 25             The Clyde Theatre – Fort Wayne, IN

Sep 26             Murat Theatre – Indianapolis, IN

Sep 27             Palace Theatre – Louisville, KY

Oct 01             Taft Theatre – Cincinnati, OH

Oct 02             Lincoln Theatre – Columbus, OH

Oct 03             Ohio Theatre – Cleveland, OH

Oct 16             Rams Head On-Stage – Annapolis, MD

Oct 17             Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival – Rehoboth Beach, DE

Oct 20             Birchmere – Alexandria, VA

Oct 21             Birchmere – Alexandria, VA

Oct 23             Knight Theater – Charlotte, NC

Nov 14            Fox Theatre – Tucson, AZ

Nov 19            House of Blues Dallas – Dallas, TX

Nov 20            One World Theatre – Austin, TX

Nov 21            House of Blues Houston – Houston, TX