Bob James


Bob James

The man, the myth, the legend. Classic adaptions of “Nautilus” and “Westchester Lady” form a cornerstone of the history of hip-hop. Slick Rick, Ghostface Killah, Eric B. & Rakim, and Run DMC's "Peter Piper" all sampled the jazz pianist. From simple grooves to atmospheric orchestration to iconic hip-hop theme songs.

Overview of Bob James samples

Tracklib provides what the hip-hop world has been longing for: a way to create classical adaptions from songs off his iconic 'One,' 'Two,' and 'Three' trilogy on CTI Records, the label by late legend Creed Taylor. With a clear touch of jazz, the catalog includes sampling favorites including "Westchester Lady" and "Storm King." The style from his collaborations with Hubert Laws, Gábor Szabó, Stanley Turrentine, and Grover Washington is also hinted throughout the potential Bob James samples.

Sketchy Piece

Background info on those collaborations and more Sample Stories can be found on the website of the jazz keyboardist, written by Daniel Isenberg. Such as this mind-blowing anecdote about "Nautilus," his most popularly sampled song: "I had been noodling around with a sketch at home, and I brought in this very sketchy piece, which didn’t have a title. And at the last minute, we recorded it. Creed Taylor [of CTI Records] gave it the title 'Nautilus' because there was a sound that I used from the synthesizer in the intro that sounded sort of like a submerging submarine to him."

Samples by Bob James

Theme Song for Taxi

Westchester Lady

Angela & Take Me To The Mardi Gras

Watch this Tracklib video in which Bob James recalls memories about some of his favorites. With stories about "Angela," and Biz Markie’s claim about a mysterious 45 record of "Take Me To The Mardi Gras."

Impact of Bob James samples on hip-hop producers and artists

From clear touches of jazz to the soul music influences on tracks like "Love Power"—hip-hop producers have scoured the catalog of the jazz pianist for decades now. Drum breaks on songs like "Nautilus" and "Take Me To The Mardi Gras" are essential to the sound of late-80s to mid-90s hip-hop.

Peter Piper

"Peter Piper" by Run-DMC is a great example. The Rick Rubin-produced 1986 classic flips the jazz keyboardist, cowbell, and drums off the album Two by Bob James.

Similar sample collections and artists on Tracklib

Loved by hip-hop producers, sample other keyboardists and jazz-funk icons on Tracklib including Weldon Irvine, Brian Auger, Janko Nilovic, or a newer generation of musicians such as Soul Supreme or Mark de Clive-Lowe. Or if you want to dig deeper into the Bob James samples, then start with these collections: Bob James - Ready to Flip, Bob James, Bob James Classic Loops, and the ultimate sample collection Bob's Best.

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