Elite amongst Jazz musicians for the past 30 years, Stafford James
received his musical training in the classical repertoire at the Chicago
Conservatory and at Mannes College of Music. For his pleasure Stafford James
kept practicing and playing the classical repertoire of his instrument, the
contrabass. His programmes go from J.S. Bach to Kodaly’s Sonatina to Mozart,
Brahms, Rossini and Ravel amongst others.
At this stage in his life of musician and composer
Stafford James has decided to provide another outlet to his career as a concert
performer by exploiting the classical repertoire.
Why such a move
away from his traditional Jazz public? The reason for this is simple: because
the intensity of his expressiveness is tied to a deep sense of equilibrium and
nuances; because his playing is endowed with a stupefying rhythmic precision -
the very foundation of great Jazz - and because his playingreveals an emotional strength of such rare
quality Stafford James deserves to reach a larger audience than that of the
usual Jazz “aficionados”.
Stafford James possesses the highest and most perfect sense of
positioningand structuring of a work.
His rhythmic vitality in concert enables him to confer a quasi incredible
dimension – that is to say never yet heard before – to compositions from
Old Masters from which, a priori, one would
never have expected notable surprises. To see and hear Stafford James play
Bach’s Suite or Brahms’ Hungarian Dances is an unforgettable experience…
In addition, the
manner in which Stafford James exploits all of the resources of the
contrabass with his bow shows how wrong are those who only see the
contrabass as an instrument for pizzicati in a Jazz band or as a
“valet” in a symphonic orchestra.