Record Reflections by A. Scott Galloway
25 years ago, a super group of contemporary jazz giants formed a quartet dubbed Fourplay and began the business of making evocative groove-scapes spiced with a tasty dollop of sensuality via soul-pop vocal stars and sexy covers of touchstones by boudoir masters Marvin Gaye and The Isley Brothers. Since that time, they’ve pretty much ditched the vocals and gone deeper into what I call movies for the ears. Fourplay’s new 10-song CD, Silver (Concord Records) – recorded at Sunset Sound Studio in Hollywood where they cut their self titled debut in 1990 for Warner Bros. – marks the band’s 25th anniversary and is, fittingly, one of its finest most consistent CDs in some time.
Aside from said aural movie wonders, I find the highlights of this album (with all songs referencing silver in some constitution) are the slinky “Horace” (pianist Bob James’ homage to jazz legend Horace Silver, the great pianist and prolific “soul-jazz” composer who passed away in June 2014), the acoustic brushed elegance of drummer Harvey Mason’s “A Silver Lining,” guitarist Chuck Loeb’s “Precious Metal” – the most sensual and romantic of the songs featuring special guest Kirk Whalum – and bassist Nathan East’s “Aniversario,” a tasty slice of funk. Extra special are the returns of Fourplay’s previous guitarists: original member Lee Ritenour (who contributes the rich harmonically layered CD-closer “Windmill,” co-composed with old west coast studio friend “The Mase”) and Rit’s replacement Larry Carlton who joyfully teams with Loeb on the bluesy groove “Silverado” which feels like an Eddie Harris line buffed to signature Fourplay polish.
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The latest reports show that SILVER is currently…
#1 on Sound Scan Jazz Chart
#1 on Tower Records Jazz Chart
#1 on Yamano Music Jazz Chart
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“As usual Fourplay creates lightly funky and melodic groove music that is bluesy, danceable and quite accessible. Both James and Loeb take many fine solos but it is the sound of the ensembles that gives this group its own personality…Fourplay’s large audience will certainly find Silverenjoyable.”
“Fourplay celebrates its 25th anniversary with an inspired outing that includes former guitar members Larry Carlton and Lee Ritenour as guests.”
“All of the songs have that great feeling of consistent quality and deep grooves that Fourplay and these high-profile guest artists bring to the studio. That sense of fellowship permeates Silver from start to finish and you can be assured that this recording is definitely one that is definitely ‘Sterling Silver.’”
“The album is a work of art…Sophisticated arrangements and ultrafine interplay are their most particular strength.”
“Longevity among jazz groups is a surprisingly rare commodity. With relatively few exceptions, a run of a few years, at most, is standard; for a collective of jazz musicians to stick together for a decade or more is almost unheard of. That puts Fourplay, who celebrates their 25th anniversary this year, in a league of their own.”
Allt är silver som glimmar när superkvartetten Fourplay 25-årsjubilerar. Tre av fyra har varit med
sedan starten och på platta nr. 13 serveras idel nya kompositioner på temat snillrikt harmoniserad och fulländad smooth jazz.
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Fourplay–bassist Nathan East, keyboardist Bob James, guitarist Chuck Loeb and drummer Harvey Mason–celebrate their 25th anniversary this year. To mark the occasion, the band will release Silver, Nov. 20…CONTINUE READING & LISTEN TO THE FULL ALBUM!
The New Cool, an acoustic offering by Fourplay founders Bob James (keyboards) and Nathan East (bass), will be released September 18 via Yamaha Entertainment Group. Recorded entirely in Nashville, the album was co-produced by Yamaha label president Chris Gero with James and East.
JazzTimes is pleased to present this exclusive premiere of the entire album!
Listen to the FULL ALBUM HERE!
Silver is the third album to feature the group’s newest member, guitarist Chuck Loeb. Here he joins the all-star lineup of bassist Nathan East, keyboardist Bob James and drummer Harvey Mason. Silver features special guest appearances from guitarists Larry Carlton and Lee Ritenour and saxophonist Kirk Whalum.
Following the theme of the occasion, most of the 10 new original compositions comprising Silver play off of the anniversary, bearing titles such as “Sterling,” “Precious Metal” and “A Silver Lining.” Just like its namesake, Silver shines, each track a brilliant example of what has made this formidable ensemble—each of whom also has a highly successful career outside of the band—one of the most respected in the jazz world.
Silver is available for pre-order at Amazon.com
Article by VALERY AMADOR
On the 25th anniversary of the group’s formation, Fourplay offers their fans 10 great songs from a new album simply titled Silver. This album reveals the group’s ability to remain brilliantly creative after so many years together as they continue to bond and produce their truly distinct and recognizable sound.
The members of Fourplay – bassist Nathan East, keyboardist Bob James, guitarist Chuck Loeb, and drummer Harvey Mason – wrote all of the compositions including a couple of collaborations co-written with two former members of the Fourplay – guitarists Lee Ritenour and Larry Carlton. Several special guests add their musical visions to Silver including guitarist Larry Carlton and organist Mitch Forman on “Silverado,” guitarist Lee Ritenour on “Windmill,” tenor saxophonist Kirk Whalum on “Precious Metal,” vocalist Chris Wells on “Silver Streak,” keyboardist John Beasley on “Windmill,” and Synth master Tom Keane on “Aniversario.”
The titles of the compositions contain variations on the use of the word silver and you might say the ensemble is on a true “Silver Streak” considering that for the past 25 years their recordings have ranked from “Sterling” to platinum! The set opens with “Quicksilver” which was…CONTINUE READING THE FULL ARTICLE HERE!