celebrates this year their 25th anniversary. Their
current members are keyboardist Bob James, drummer Harvey Mason,
bassist/vocalist Nathan East and guitarist Chuck Loeb. Matching the
The individual album titles are related to this
precious metal. As
special guests the jubilarians invited Larry Carlton, Lee
Ritenour, and Kirk Whalum. Additional musicians are vocalist Chris
Wells, keyboardist John Beasley, organist Mitch Forman and synth
player Tom Keane.
An established team that celebrates his music
at the highest level mixed by veteran engineer and producer Don
Murray. That is the way legends are created. Quicksilver,
the liquid metal of mercury is starting the album in typical
Fourplay style. Fluid, elegant, dynamic and with great verve.
American jazz pianist and composer Horace Silver (born Horace Ward
Martin Tavares Silva) set milestones as a leader of the
back-to-basics movement that came to be called hard bop. Horace
is Fourplay's tribute to this pioneer of modern jazz. Sterling
is an alloy of silver and copper but the song is pure Fourplay.
Chuck Loeb expands an exquisite solo on his Sadowsky guitar.
Moreover, the group attaches great importance to the emphasis on the
atmospheric in this piece.
Taken from the proverb "every cloud has a silver lining" the
group reveals their acoustic side in a quiet and gentle approach. Some
call it unplugged, the others a chamber music. Silverado
evokes the association of Eldorado in combination with silver. This
up-tempo tune is featuring Larry Carlton on right side with Chuck
Loeb on left side in a call and response session.
While Bob James usually is
classified as a pioneer of smooth jazz
especially through the formation Fourplay, his heart was and is always beating for contemporary jazz. This is
noticeable on his composition Mine, which strongly moves into
the jazz realm. On Silver Streak the formation presents the contrast
between gloomy despondency and hope. During the transition of the
band between Larry Carlton and Chuck Loeb saxophonist Kirk Whalum
filled the orphaned chair of the fourth member on various events.
Precious Metal features Kirk Whalum on tenor sax as a small
Eastís Aniversario places his scat singing and his funky bass
style in the middle of interest. Of course the other members deliver
their precious contributions in addition. In 1987 Lee Ritenour
released his album Portrait. Ritenour and Harvey Mason
composed for this album the title song and Windmill.
Fourplay and Ritenour revisit the song in their inimitable way.
With Silver the leading formation of melodious jazz builds
their very own bridge between smooth and contemporary jazz.
Although the album is a work of art of all band members involved,
the music is tending in the direction of Bob James earlier albums.
Sophisticated arrangements and ultrafine interplay are their most