American composer, conductor, organist and music educator, Philip (Fredrick Wright) James (1890-1975) was BORN IN JERSEY CITY, received rudimentary instruction in music from his sister. At an early age, he began piano, violin and sang as a choirboy in several New Jersey churches. He later studied the organ with Bonnet and Guilmant. During WW I he was bandleader of the American Expeditionary Forces Headquarters Band. Returning to the USA, he completed his education and held various posts as organist and choir-master in several churches in New York. In 1922 he co-founded and became the first conductor of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, and in 1923 he began a long teaching career at New York University (NYU). Philip James' compositions followed along the late Romantic lines. Several of his early sacred compositions, including "Meditation à Ste Clotilde" for organ and the anthem "By the Waters of Babylon" remain in the sacred repertoire. While this work may be French in "intention" it certainly sounds American, and would have been conceived for the big Austin organ that James designed for St. Johns, which was installed after a "serious fire" in 1914. So, James WAS organist of St. John's WHEN he composed this piece. If you know Cesar Franck's (Organist of Ste. Clotilde) Symphony in D Minor, you may hear a theme (played on the Vox Humana) quoted in this piece. The Salisbury Willis handles the music nicely, it isn't nearly orchestral enough. I'm sure the big St. John's Austin was! The day I recorded it, I wasn't hearing much "top", so in a few spots, perhaps I should have followed my own rule of "Reeds BEFORE mixtures," but since I can hear it "correctly" today, I chose to leave it alone. The tuber also features prominently in this, but it's not "in the way" that we think of as "tuber-style" writing! This tuber-tooting is like orchestral brass, and really wants a big, "fundamental" tuber UNDER EXPRESSION!