The Sad Waltz Christopher James

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  • 1Consequence of Intention03:46
  • 2The Steppes of Mora03:52
  • 3Ostinato for Piano, Percussion,Strings and Electronics03:11
  • 4I Can See It Now04:18
  • 5Intermezzo Simpatico00:54
  • 6The Mighty Quinn ( Martin)05:08
  • 7Claude’s Clouds02:50
  • 8The Sad Waltz02:07
  • 9How Can I Change Your Mind?04:07
  • 10Reverie02:54
  • 11One Last Time03:36
  • 12Close Your Eyes04:18
  • 13Guardian Angel03:01
  • 14How Can I Change Your Mind? (alternative take)03:34
  • Total Runtime47:36

Info for The Sad Waltz

The Sad Waltz, a follow-up to the autobiographical album House by the Railroad, is a collection of 13 original, colorful and diverse compositions written programmatically for an imagined visual environment. Featuring a number of world class musicians, Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel), Tim Lefebvre ( David Bowie), Gerry Leonard (David Bowie) and Andy Snitzer (Paul Simon), Christopher James draws on lifelong musical memories, influences and inspirations to weave this journey. The opening track, “Consequence of Intent” is an impressionistic juxtaposition for piano and ambient electronica, accentuated by the haunting guitars of David Torn. “The Steppes of Mora” is classically influenced with a tip of the hat to the great John Barry. “I Can See it Now” looks back at James’ relationship with his late father with lyrics written by Nashville songwriter, Craig Carothers. “Ostinato” and “Claude’s Clouds” further demonstrate James’ interest in contemporary classical composition. Grammy tm award winner, Gil Goldstein, wrote the elegant arrangement for cello and accordion to compliment the piano on the title track, “The Sad Waltz”. The powerfully moving last track, “Guardian Angel” was written as a tribute to Elton John. “His music gave me a context for life and provided a beacon of light that continues to be my north star”.

Christopher James is an accomplished classical pianist, composer and solo recording artist. His duo group, Val Gardena, released 3 well received albums in the 1990’s for Mercury Records. One of those albums, On the Bridge, featured the top ten single, “Northern Lights”. As a successful music executive and ex-CEO of Universal Classics and Jazz he worked with, and signed some of the world’s greatest artists, including Luciano Pavarotti, Renée Fleming, Andrea Bocelli, Chris Botti, Wayne Shorter, Elvis Costello and Sting. Over the past 5 years, James has re-dedicated himself to his true passion of composing and recording new music.

James produced The Sad Waltz with his long time collaborators Bob Stark and Grammy award winning engineer, Kevin Killen.

The Sad Waltz is about as out of the box as you can get,” writes Kathy Parsons, editor of, “and I mean that in a very, very good way! ...I give it my highest recommendation.”

"This is pure creativity and energy coming together to form a super nova of sounds. The Sad Waltz just made it into my top 10 instrumental albums for 2017." (New Age Music Reviews)

Christopher James, piano, keyboards
Tony Levin, bass
Tim Lefebvre, guitar
Gerry Leonard, guitar
Thomas Barber, trumpet
Andy Snitzer, saxophone

Christopher James
(born Christopher James Roberts) is an American composer, producer (Paula Cole, Renée Fleming, Val Gardena) and ex-CEO of Universal Music Group’s Classical and Jazz division. An accomplished classical pianist, he earned a B.A. in Music and German Literature at Lewis and Clark College in his hometown of Portland, Oregon. His graduate studies in Musicology at the University of Illinois took him to Germany for post-graduate research. He stayed, and for several years he composed and produced music for the German film and television industry. With a style reflecting pop, as well as his classical and jazz training, Mr. James’s music was heard in prime time on various German National TV networks. Musical influences include Elton John, Burt Bacharach, Brian Eno, Jimmy Webb, John Barry, George Gershwin, Bach, Chopin, Ravel, and Stravinsky.

In 1988 a unique opportunity presented itself when PolyGram Records was refocusing its strategy on International markets. Roberts was brought on board to lead this effort in New York City. Five years later he was promoted to President of Classical and Jazz Music. During his tenure, Christopher oversaw the worlds largest and most successful classical and jazz label group while working with, and signing, some of the genre’s greatest artists, including Luciano Pavarotti, The Three Tenors, Renèe Fleming, Anna Netrebko, Lang Lang, Chris Botti and Andrea Bocelli. Additionally, he was executive producer on some of the most successful albums of the past twenty five years including Sting’s On a Winters Night, Gladiator (soundtrack), Wicked (Broadway Cast and Grammy winner), Spamalot (Broadway Cast and Grammy™ winner) and The Boy from Oz featuring Hugh Jackman.

During the 1990’s, Christopher James quietly continued composing with his group Val Gardena releasing three albums for Mercury Records including a top 10 single “Northern Lights”.

James is now re-dedicating himself to his true passion of composing and making new recordings. Over the last five years he has released four albums: A Different Place, A Different time; Synesthesia; House by the Railroad and the new album, The Sad Waltz, produced with his long term collaborators; Bob Stark and grammy award winning engineer, Kevin Killen.

Christopher James’ owns all his master recordings and publishing rights and composes works across multi-genres for synch and licensing use. He is also available as a producer/composer for hire.

This album contains no booklet.

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