441

Fourplay: Energy

Woodrow Wilkins By

Sign in to view read count
Fourplay: Energy
Energy: a word that means power or force. It's appropriate that Energy is also the title of Fourplay's debut with Heads Up.

Fourplay, a double entendre, is the quartet of Bob James, Nathan East, Harvey Mason and Larry Carlton. Each, an individual band leader or session sideman in his own right, the four spend part of their time as a supergroup. Collectively, they've appeared on numerous recordings and gained widespread appeal. Among their associations are Tom Scott & The L.A. Express, Crusaders, Steely Dan, Mike Post, David Sanborn, Marcus Miller, Kirk Whalum, Maynard Ferguson and George Duke. The band mixes contemporary jazz with a variety of other styles, including blues, R&B, and African music.

"Fortune Teller" is a lively piece that showcases Fourplay's cohesion as a group, while also displaying individuality, with solos by James on piano and Carlton on guitar. East on bass and Mason on drums work skillfully in the background.

East brings in several members of his family for "Cape Town," a vocal tribute to his grandparents, who did missionary work in South Africa. The song was co-written by East, his brother, Marcel East, and cousin, Alan Dones. Marcel also provides additional instruments. Three other members of the family provide background vocals. New sensation, singer Esperanza Spalding, complements the band nicely on the Hilary James composition, "Prelude for Lovers."

The ethereal "Look Both Ways," features Carlton's guitar much of the way. During the middle solo, James, East and Mason lay down a subtle, but effective background while Carlton shows why he's one of the most highly regarded guitarists. The song shifts gears near the end, as James' piano takes off on a high-energy solo, punctuated by East's rapid-fire bass line and Mason's adept handling of the snare, toms and cymbals. The pace returns to normal for the satisfying conclusion.

Fourplay makes a strong Heads Up debut with Energy.

Track Listing

Fortune Teller; The Whistler; Ultralight; Cape Town; The Yes Club; Prelude for Lovers; Look Both Ways; Argentina; Comfort Zone; Sebastian.

Personnel

Bob James: keyboards; Nathan East: bass, vocals (4, 10); Larry Carlton: guitar; Harvey Mason: drums; Sara East: background vocal (4); Noah East: background vocal (4); Elijah East: background vocal (4); Marcel East: programming (4), percussion (4), keyboards (4), guitar (4); Esperanza Spalding: vocals (6).

Album information

Title: Energy | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Heads Up International

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Alex Moxon Quartet
Alex Moxon Quartet
Alex Moxon Quartet
Read I Went This Way
I Went This Way
Rachel Musson
Read HH
HH
Lionel Loueke
Read Dominos
Dominos
Chuck Anderson
Read Secrets & Lies
Secrets & Lies
Jakko M. Jakszyk
Read Ceremonie / Musique
Ceremonie / Musique
What Happens In A Year

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.