Little did I know when I met James Banbury that I was speaking to a renowned music arranger, writer, and musician. We met at an exhibition opening through mutual friends a couple weeks back and I found out then that he had only recently moved to Tokyo after a decade+ in Hong Kong. Our mutual friend had mentioned he was a musician, and we talked about tons of music, shared interest in artists, rapped about club music and DJ days, beloved but now defunct record labels, and about how he was making a spontaneous trip back to Hong Kong for the release of a record of his that would coincide with what sounded like an amazing photo exhibition, with wild images from legendary UK raves of yore. I assumed at that point that he was a producer of electronic music …but maybe primarily movie soundtracks now? Hmmmm… I couldn’t quite put my finger on exactly what kind of musician he was, there would be nonchalant comments about such things as “library records” that would throw me off the scent mid-sentence.
Later that evening, over some afterparty mocktails, he mentioned in passing that he had recently installed a remotely controllable climate system in his home in order to care for a 250-year-old cello on particularly humid days. That was when my eyebrows raised again and my mind wandered to that mysterious word “Stradivarius” (which I don’t even know how I know) and thought to itself, “Better look this guy up when you get back home.”
Well, I did look James up when I got home and found a mile-long list of credits, accolades, awards, and, well hits. Turns out James has been part of or has worked with, many numerous bands that you know and love, major names with 100’s of millions of listeners. I don’t want to embarrass him, but I also read that he has conducted the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the London Session Orchestra, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Good grief, James!!
Needless to say, the guy knows music and you easily see by this smile, and this very eclectic slew of records that he scored with us for Tokyo Record Style Day – Vol. 1 – Shimokitazawa, (his own credit on some I believe) that James is a very friendly and interesting cat.
Thanks, James for the nice photo, and great hang! Looking forward to the next record dig!
More Tokyo Record Style on the way!
The Walter Murphy Band – A Fifth Of Beethoven
Label: Private Stock – PS 2015
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Bestway press
Genre: Funk / Soul
The Beat – I Just Can’t Stop It
Label: Go-Feet Records – 25RS-93
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Genre: Rock, Reggae
Drummers Of The Societe Absolument Guinin (Société Absolument Guinin) – Voodoo Drums
Label: Universal Sound – US LP 16
Format: 2 x Vinyl, LP
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Tribal, Folk
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