It’s been a full quarter-century since a young saxophonist and composer released his debut recording as a leader, Trust. He just released his 16th album, this one titled Honestly. If you sense a direct line between those titles, you’ve already come a long way toward understanding what motivates the four-time GRAMMY nominee and multi-platinum-selling musician.
“I’m fighting the good fight to be my own artist and not be pigeonholed,” says the genre-blurring James. “With a record’s title, I always try to find something that will communicate the feeling I get when I listen to it. The feeling I get with this music is a sense of sincerity and intimacy. The word ‘honestly’ really reflects how I aspire to live my life and create my music. One of the great things about music is how powerful it is. It can totally transport people. These are interesting times we are living in, and the one thing I can do with the skills that I have is to make music that evokes a feeling and takes people somewhere… to do what I can to try and make the world a more pleasant place.”