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Release Date:
March 29, 2011

Reviewed by:
Bonnie Schendell

After losing a couple of teeth and suffering a fractured jaw in an auto accident that could have ended a career, Boney James returned to the recording studio and joined a new label (Verve) to release his latest CD, Contact.  During his multiple week recovery from the accident where he was rear-ended on a California highway, Boney reflected on a career that has taken him farther than one could imagine, and gave his fans their first taste with 1992’s solo album, Trust.

On his new release, Boney produced and co-wrote each track, which includes four vocals.    "Close to You," features a performance by Donnell Jones and is one of the special moments on this album. Boney is featured on the soprano sax, adding terrific, groovy fillers in between the beautiful vocals. LaToya Luckett, formerly of Destiny’s Child, takes the lead vocals on the ballad "When I Had the Chance." Mario adds his flavor to the very danceable, "That Look on Your Face," and on the Latin infused “I’m Waiting” you find Heather Headley.

Boney offers up his signature sound, and shows us that, accident or no accident, he is in top form.  On the title track, he takes us into a melody that grabs you amidst wonderful guitar riffs and a brilliantly arranged horn section. “Spin” is another emotionally-driven tune with the tenor and soprano saxes, and percussion taking you on a journey and adding great layers. "Cry," gives us a great sound on a nylon-string guitar, while Boney brings in the melody on the tenor sax. Add in the percussion by Lenny Castro and drums by Teddy Campbell, and you get a myriad of textures.

Entering into the slower, more retrospective tunes, “Deep Time” and "There and Back" are soulful ballads where Boney’s “voice” shines through.  You can almost imagine his mind reflecting on life before and after his accident, and all of the life experiences that have brought him to this point.  Beautiful story telling.   "Everything Matters" closes out the CD.  Boney reaches for both the tenor and alto on this almost sentimental track.   

Fans of the sax master will be so thrilled to add Contact to their collection.  So good to have you back, Boney!!