Rameau – Bob James

Rameau - Bob James Artist: Bob James
Album: Rameau
Release Date: 1977
Duration: 47:04
Genre: Electronic, Classical, Jazz
Styles: Orchestral, Crossover Jazz, Jazz-Pop, Smooth Jazz

This is a big departure for Bob James, who interrupted his stream of smooth jazz projects to produce a lovely album of electronic transcriptions of pieces by the French Baroque composer Jean-Philippe Rameau. As such, they fall squarely in the tradition of Wendy Carlos’ realizations of Bach — and in their own way, they approach Carlos’ achievements in their imaginative, tasteful selection of timbres. James originally recorded many of these pieces as Christmas gifts for friends and, indeed, these selections (all grouped on side one of the LP) do convey a cheery holiday mood. Recording mostly on analog synthesizers — which were then about to be rendered temporarily obsolete by digital instruments — James takes care to exercise period performance practices in the execution of trills and the like, keeping splashy electronic effects to a minimum (the concluding Tambourin Nos. 1 and 2 are the most outgoing realizations here). On Les Niais de Sologne, James introduces a ringer in the form of an acoustic grand piano, employing attacks similar to those he uses on the electronic keyboards. As a whole, these recordings sound more conservative than those of Carlos, but better that than some of the more grotesque distortions that were taking up space in the shops after the Switched-On Bach breakthrough.

Title/Composer Performer Time
Fanfarinette, for harpsichord in A major (Nouvelles suites) Bob James 2:39
Gavotte and Doubles (6), for harpsichord in A minor (Nouvelles suites) Bob James 7:17
Menuet for harpsichord in G major (Nouvelles suites)
Menuet #1 Bob James 1:17
Deuxième menuet, for harpsichord in G minor (Nouvelles suites) Bob James 1:23
La Livri, version for solo harpsichord (Pièces de clavecin en concerts) Bob James 2:11
L’ Enrôlement d’Arlequin, comédie por le théâtre de la foire
Arlequinade Bob James 3:05
La Timide, version for solo harpsichord (Pièces de clavecin en concerts) Bob James 4:12
L’ indiscrète, for harpsichord, violin & viol (Pièces de clavecin en concerts) Bob James 1:40
Work(s)
La Chasse, arr. for keyboard Bob James 2:05
Les Niais de Sologne & Doubles (2), for harpsichord in D major (Pièces de clavecin avec une méthode) Bob James 8:10
Les Soupirs, for harpischord in D major (Pièces de clavecin avec une méthode) Bob James 4:39
Les Indes galantes, opéra-ballet
Le Turc généreux: Air pour les Esclaves africains Bob James 2:24
Les Triolets, for harpsichord in G major (Nouvelles suites) Bob James 3:16
Tambourins I and II, for harpsichord, violin & viol (Pièces de clavecin en concerts) Bob James 2:46

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