www.fourplayjazz.comHaving reviewed a Fourplay album previously, I won’t begin with my typical brief history (you probably know it already anyway!).This CD brings us exactly what we’ve come to expect from these top-notch LA session masters. The band practically defines the sound of smooth jazz, and “Energy” is no different. Clean and crisp production, effortless and masterful performances and slick grooves. The Smooth genre may not be everyone’s cup of tea and it’s always seemed to me to be a jazz musicians attempt at actually making some money in his lifetime and, hey you know what?… Who can blame em’! These guys have earned their respect and are at the top of the game in LA and why not make a few mass-market CDs in the process?!
A nice surprise came when I heard the voice of Esperanza Spalding. Esperanza seems to be everywhere right now, and with good reason. She’s got a truly beautiful voice and is a wonderful bass player (and I still can’t believe how well she does both at the same time!). She lends her sultry voice to the soulful “Prelude for Lovers” which, incidentally, may be my favorite track on the CD.
Nobody can do it better than these guys and, for you bass players, yeah.. Nathan is killin’ on here. The thing that I personally enjoy about the Fourplay releases is the way Nathan approaches the tunes… Each track is like a mini-course on how to be a producer or songwriters best friend in the studio. If you’re an aspiring session player, give it a listen… smooth or no, Nathan is the master. He’s got the tone, groove, & very well considered fills and picks his spots wisely. Nathan is the session king and this CD gives us some insights into the reasons why.