Personnel: Bob James (keyboards); Kirk Whalum (saxophone); Jeff Golub, Hiram Bullock (guitar); Chris Walker (bass); Billy Kilson (drums); Leonard "Doc" Gibbs (percussion).
Recorded at Carriage House, Stamford, Connecticut and The Hit Factory, New York, New York.
JOINED AT THE HIP was nominated for a 1997 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Performance.
JOINED AT THE HIP features Bob James and saxophonist Kirk Whalum as a team. After several appearance on one another's solo efforts, James and Whalum realized that they had similar playing styles, and as James said, "were eager to explore that compatibility in a pressure-free environment, [while] keeping everything loose and fun." Given that attitude, the album manages to break away from some of the stylistic parameters typically found on contemporary jazz albums.
Whalum stretches out and lets the opening track, "Soweto," build over ten minutes. "Kickin' Back" is James' most spontaneous moment on the album, offering a laid-back and spirited jam. In addition to fine performances by James and Whalum, other fine musicians appear on the album. Guitarist Jeff Golub is particularly sharp, displaying his talents both as a rock and jazz musician on the romantic late-night tune "Tell Me Something Nice." A cover of the 1974 Maria Muldaur hit "Midnight at the Oasis" is performed by a special, but somewhat contrived, duo--James' daughter Hilary and Kirk's brother Kevin. Also covered is "The Ghetto," a 1970 tune by Donny Hathaway and Leroy Hutson.