James Bazen



James and Patty
James and Patty McKay

"It's like a disease. I can't help it!"

Why a big band recording? Why in the world did you Jamesinclude "The Funky Little Drummer Boy" - a Christmas tune! - on the CD? Why is this so different from your once and future release, "Stranger Things?" Don't you realize that you're confusing everybody? Do you even care?

These are questions that have been asked woodwind specialist James Bazen since the release of The James Bazen Big Band CD, "Tonight He's Mine," on Seaside Recordings (SSJB 146). To all these questions James Bazen answers, "It's like a disease. I can't help it!" To understand, one must have a little background. James Bazen got his Bachelor Of Music at Greensboro College, a small private school in North Carolina. At GC he majored in classical saxophone. Once he graduated he quickly realized that there are a total of maybe three major symphonic works that used saxophone! Not exactly great odds on making a living. After this revelation Bazen spent some time in New Orleans. "I was one of those guys in the street with my case open," Bazen says, "playing my clarinet and sax for the tourists." Here he was exposed to the great traditions of blues, Dixieland, and Cajun music. He later endured one year of master's studies at DePaul University in Chicago. There he majored in "jazz and commercial music." Again, quickly realizing that one can only learn so much in an academic setting, he left DePaul and began attending performances of the great Chicago jazz musicians as well as frequenting jam sessions and starting his own bands in "the real world."

When Bazen moved to Washington, DC with his wife Sarah he tried various day gigs to make ends meet including managing a record store. "It was awful," Bazen Jamessays. "Working with various bands until 2 or 3 in the morning and then working at the store from 8 to 6…I was a zombie. In addition to being too tired to be creative, I hated working for corporate America. I just prefer to be my own boss." Which brings us to the present… In an effort to "be his own boss" Bazen started his own talent agency, Musicunlimited.com, and started booking his commercial band and other acts. The business has done well enough that it has allowed him to finance his "jazz habit." (How do you make a million dollars in jazz? Start with two million!)

Now James Bazen produces his own records. This gives him the freedom to explore his talents both as a musician and arranger no matter where they lead. Consequently, "The Funky Little Drummer Boy" (which was written in the spirit of the season for the band's weekly gig at Paisanos in Rockville, Maryland) is included on a CD of jazz standards and originals. Besides…It's kind of a neat arrangement. Bazen laments "It would be wonderful if someone out there said, 'Hey, this guy's good. I should throw money at him so he can pursue his art without worrying about where the next check is coming from.' But, realistically, I'll have to plug along the best that I can, producing recordings as I can afford them."

Bazen is currently working on the next big band CD called "The Wednesday Night Pizza Band." It is slated for release in the spring of 2001.

Visit the James Bazen full service talent agency Musicunlimited.com!


(new) The James Bazen Big Band - "The Wednesday Night Pizza Band"
1. (RealAudio) One For My Baby
2. (RealAudio) Sea Journey
3. God Nothin' Doin'
4. Aphelion
5. Bajie's Boogie
6. (RealAudio) Takin' It Easy
7. Dewey Segment Suite
8. The Irish Washer Chic
9. A Felicidade
10. (RealAudio) September Elegy
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The James Bazen Big Band - "Merry Christmas Take One"
1. (RealAudio) Sleigh Ride
2. (RealAudio) Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
3. (mp3) God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
4. White Christmas
5. Silent Night
6. My Favorite Things
7. (RealAudio) Christmas Time Is Here
8. O Christmas Tree
9. The Christmas Song
10. Let It Snow
11. Silver Bells
12. Jesus Loves Me
13. The "Spirit" Of Christmas Present
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The James Bazen Big Band - "Tonight He's Mine"
1. (mp3) You Can Have It
2. (RealAudio) Summertime
3. (RealAudio) There Is No Greater Love
4. Tonight He's Mine
5. Syeeda’s Song Flute
6. Willow Weep For Me
7. Danny The Samba Boy
8. Stranger Things
9. I Could Write A Book
10. The Funky Little Drummer Boy
11. (RealAudio) Chillin’
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The James Bazen Quintet - "Stranger Things"
1. (RealAudio) Gentle Breeze
2. (mp3) Frenzy
3. (RealAudio) Afternoon Of A Cat
4. (RealAudio) Time Again
5. Stranger Things
6. I Thought About You
7. Monks Of The Castle
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upcoming performances and events

  • You can hear The James Bazen Big Band every Wednesday at Paisano's (316 N. Washington Street, Rockville, MD 301-424-0444 starting at 7:30 PM.
James Bazen
Tel: (301) 948-5419
Email: jcbazen@musicunlimited.com

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