Archive for August 22nd, 2012

Fourplay – Esprit De Four

Smooth Jazz supergroup Fourplay is set to release their new album Espirit De Four, on September 18. For two decades, the quartet has enjoyed consistent artistic and commercial success by blending elements of R&B, pop and a variety of other sounds to their unwavering jazz foundations. Over the course of the band’s career, spanning a dozen recordings, six have climbed to the top of Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Album charts.

The group is comprised of leader/pianist Bob James, bassist Nathan East, drummer Harvey Mason, Jr. and guitarist Chuck Loeb, who joined the band in 2010 following the departure of Larry Carlton. Fourplay will be part of the Smooth Jazz Serenades the Seas Cruise setting sail from Barcelona, Spain on September 27 and will begin a U.S. tour on October 12 in Newport Beach, CA.

The follow up to 2010’s Let’s Touch the Sky, this is the second album to feature the group s newest member, guitarist Chuck Loeb. Here he joins the all-star lineup of keyboardist Bob James, bassist Nathan East and drummer Harvey Mason, each of whom contribute at least two compositions to the release.

One of the more notable tracks is the Bob James composition Put Our Hearts Together which he wrote for a concert in a region severely impacted by the devastating Japanese tsunami of 2011. It appears as both an instrumental and vocal version on the CD. Japanese pop star Seiko Matsuda lends her voice on this moving tribute.

Esprit De Four is available at Amazon.com.

U-Nam – Weekend in L.A.

Rarely has one musician put down such a strong start as the guitarist originally from Paris, called U-Nam. Out of nowhere, he surprised the connoisseurs of smooth jazz scene with his albums The Past Builds The Future (2005), Back From the 80’s (2007) and Unanimity (2009). What unites all the albums is U-Nam’s ardent admiration for the master of Smooth Jazz George Benson.

It begins with the partial selection of songs like Breezin’ M.A. or Mister GB and ends with the choice of his instruments Ibanez Guitars. What could be more than nails to do the job and create the ultimate tribute album Weekend In L.A. The album was in the air with thunder inspired by his visit at Benson’s home being invited by his buddy Robbie (one of GB’s son’s) and his impressions he talked about in an interview lately.

U-Nam has cut the umbilical cord of the record companies and funded his new project via Pledge Music. The album includes a mega-all-star line up of artists and musicians including but not limited to George Duke, Marcus Miller, Paul Jackson Jr, Phil Perry, Patrice Rushen, Stokley Williams ( Mint Condition ),Tim “TiO” Owens, Wah Wah Watson, Andreas Oberg, Michael White, Dio Saucedo and many more.

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