Today, May 20th, Bob James was honored with one of the most esteemed opportunities in radio in the USA, an appearance on National Public Radio’s (NPR) “Tiny Desk Concerts” [1] Back in the ‘oughts when Tiny Desk started [2] it was mostly about new talent and new artists, but by 2010, it had become a revered home of live, but informal concerts. Famed artists who have appeared include Moby, Betty LaVette, Adele on her first US visit, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Bill Frisell, Chick Corea and Gary Burton, Gregory Porter, Arooj Aftab and already this year Justin Timberlake, Hot Chip and last week, Gary Bartz (yes, that Gary Bartz!) [3]

Apart from Yusuf/Cat Stevens singing “Father and Son”, which always makes me cry, a couple of my favorites Tiny Desk concerts are Billy Bragg, and the late Chuck Brown of go-go music and the Soul Searchers fame, just before his death.

Originally the Tiny Desk concerts were simply broadcast on NPR and local radio stations, and on NPR’s website for download. By 2010, they had become videos and so I got into the habit of recording them. So, here is the Bob James Tiny Desk concert as an MP3, you can stream or download and play with your favorite music player.


“The Secret Drawer”
“Westchester Lady”
“Angela (Theme from Taxi)”
“Nautilus (feat. DJ Jazzy Jeff and Talib Kweli)”


Bob James: piano
James Adkins: drums
Michael Palazzolo: bass
Andrey Chmut: saxophone
DJ Jazzy Jeff: DJ
Talib Kweli: vocals

It’s a great, short set and congratulations to Sonny Abelardo, Bob’s longtime manager, for getting Bob and the guys booked on the show!


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