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Press Reviews

Mountain Express

May 2004
"At age 15, when most kids are playing video games, jazz guitarist Gregory James was playing with jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi. James would later team up with everyone from Ray Charles to Van Morrison...recently, he joined bassist Benny Reitveld (Santana) to unleash the album Come To Me..."

Jazz Times

Come To Me Review :: July/August 2003
"Gregory James tries conceptually daring things on Come To Me. He incorporates poetry from Alex White on 'Valentine' and Craig Easley on 'St. Alison'; adds cellos, violas, violins and three vocalists underneath wailing lines and programmed bass on 'Come to Me'; and delves into Afro-Latin, funk, trip-hop, even flamenco on occasion. The better numbers include 'Solo Contigo', with James joined by tabla player Jason Lewis and percussionist Celia Malheiros as well as flutist Rita Theis and drummer Deszon Claiborne, and 'Duet #1', which has James accompanied only by Thies on shakuhachi flute. Catie Murphy's readings on 'Alphabet Town' add some verbal spice to James' bluesy guitar, and he once more solos over strings and voices on 'Tomorrow'. Because James veers in so many directions, he doesn't always concentrate on his solos. Sometimes they sound like brief interludes designed only to move the work back to its main riffing. But when he gives himself ample opportunity, Gregory James demonstrates he can play with depth and conviction. Though this disc has its erratic moments, there are plenty of memorable ones as well, and even the flawed tunes catch your ear."

Global Rhythm

Come To Me Review :: December 2006
On his latest CD, this San Francisco-based acoustic jazz guitarist brings elements of Middle Eastern and Asian music into his tunes, blending them with Western sounds, including a few glimpses of rap. On “Jewel Silver,” the band keeps a funky beat (assisted by DJ Fly on the turntables and Jason Lewis on the tabla) that serves as the perfect backdrop for poet Craig Eastley to declaim his witty piece “Bring Back Elvis.” On “Irené,” the arrangement is a heady mix of Flamenco and modern Brazilian jazz, while the title track (written by Björk, who seems to be gaining larger recognition in the jazz world of late—saxophonist Greg Osby, for example, recorded her song “All Neon Like” in 2004) receives a more subtle treatment. Its arrangement is enhanced by a full string ensemble, which gives vocalist Destani Wolf ample opportunity to explore both the complexity and sheer beauty of the tune. Also notable are “Duet # 1” and “Duet # 2,” original compositions by James and Rita Thies, whose delicate sounds on the shakuhachi flute are beautifully accompanied by the leader’s guitar.

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