Multi-talented Composer Mixes Jazz with Electronica and Rock

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Eliott James will release his new album "Cinematic Life" on January 10, 2006. The CD contains 11 tracks of jazz mixed with electronica and rock influences. James' is a composer, musician, poet, and celebrated author of three books on spirituality. While he has been involved in music for many years, this is his first entry into jazz. In fact, his musical background has been primarily in the singer-songwriter vein.

As a young teenager I played gospel in churches and all night sings. I moved into the folk-rock vein in 1970, playing at the local USO and county fair in South Carolina. That was how I was discovered and won a spot on a local TV morning show, then on to the college circuit. The style of music I was playing is now called singer-songwriter.

Eliott James will release his new album "Cinematic Life" on January 10, 2006. The CD contains 11 tracks of jazz mixed with electronica and rock influences. James is a composer, musician, poet, and celebrated author of three books on spirituality. While he has been involved in music for many years, this is his first entry into jazz. In fact, his musical background has been primarily in the singer-songwriter vein.

"My grandfather was the start of it all as I watched him play banjo and guitar when I was a boy, and eventually he taught me to play,” Eliott remembers. “As a young teenager I played gospel in churches and all night sings. I moved into the folk-rock vein in 1970, playing at the local USO and county fair in South Carolina. That was how I was discovered and won a spot on a local TV morning show, then on to the college circuit. The style of music I was playing is now called singer-songwriter.”

Eliott was almost 17 when he hit the road to play colleges and small clubs. He also played as the opening act for several nationally known performers and recorded briefly in New York during this period. He performed throughout the early '80s in clubs in Atlanta, such as the Great Southeast Music Hall, the Moonshadow and Excelsior Mill.

"In 1987 or '88, I turned to writing and was encouraged to release my first book on spirituality." This was "Attaining the Mastership," named in Publisher's Weekly then as a best seller. "Surprisingly, the book took off, and went into three printings. I lectured for a while, wrote two more books, two of the three were translated and published in German and Dutch, and distributed worldwide. It was an exciting but exhausting time, but I was doing what I really believed in. After several hectic years the exhaustion escalated into health problems and I took some time out, eventually returning to my music. I've recorded in my own project studio over the last fourteen years. Mainly my own work, but I also recorded some great artists such as Bill Shafton, Eric Andersen, Ellis Paul, and Diana Obscura.

"Ultimately it was hard to be satisfied with my own music. I had never released an album or CD. I had performed hundreds of shows as a singer-songwriter and the inspiration and satisfaction had just dried up, but I felt it was necessary to account for all that time and energy so I released five songs on CD ("Eliott James EP") in 2004. That was the best of my singer-songwriter material recorded over the previous ten years. That CD was for the record, for the past perhaps, but I didn't want to do singer-songwriter material anymore.

"In Spring of 2005, I sat down to the keyboard and felt like a blank canvas was in front of me. I was free to create what I felt. I play keyboards and guitar, and also use licensed loops and samples to flesh out my songs. They came slowly at first and then streamed out. Six months later I had about fifteen songs written. I chose eleven songs for the new CD."

Eliott James has a passion for acoustic elements, as heard on his new CD with cello, harp, piano, upright bass and guitar. But these sounds are mixed with strong beats, synths, electric bass and guitar leads, giving us eleven songs that span several styles, that are hard to classify and even harder to compare to other artists.

"Yes, it was a musical change long overdue. I've always been a fan of jazz and many different styles, but I'm not a jazz musician. I also like strong beats, world music, acoustic elements, nature sounds, and synths. I've simply allowed myself to bring out what has been in my head and heart for some time. It gives me joy to be part of it's creation. To take sounds and mold them, to arrange them, to allow these sounds to seep into my emotions and back out again. I get so much out of creating music. When someone enjoys it, the circle is completed. "

More info, including music samples and a free song download from the CD, is available at http://www.eliottjames.com.

"Cinematic Life" will be released January 10, 2006 on the Wateree Recordings label and distributed to independent, jazz and college radio stations in the US, Europe and Japan, and retailed worldwide through Amazon.com, CD Baby and iTunes.

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