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Fourplay: 4

Album Notes

Fourplay: Nathan East (vocals, bass); Bob James (keyboards); Larry Carlton (guitar); Harvey Mason (drums).

Additional personnel: El DeBarge, Shanice Wilson, Kevyn Lettau, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Heather Mason, Michelle Pillar-Carlton, James DeBarge (vocals).

Lite jazz, smooth jazz, call it what you will. If the audiophile-oriented instrumental sounds of such artists as Bob James and Larry Carlton are your cup of tea, then this supergroup will be right up your alley. Fourplay combines the talents of James, Carlton and studio vets Nathan East and Harvey Mason, and together they produce a sound that is more than the sum of its parts.

The accent here is on smooth, flowing R&B-inflected jazz (or is that jazz-inflected R&B?), as exemplified by the opening cut "Still The One," which features guest vocals by Heather Mason. Things soon take off in other directions though, as Fourplay works in a bit of funk here, a little world music rhythm there, spicing up the proceedings nicely. For a little variety in between the instrumentals, there are a number of guest vocalists, including El DeBarge and R&B guru Babyface himself.



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