Fourplay: Bob James (keyboards); Larry Carlton (guitar); Nathan East (bass); Harvey Mason (drums).
Producers: Fourplay, Harvey Mason Jr.
Recorded at Royaltone Studios, North Hollywood, California and at O'Henry Studios, Burbank, California.
The four men who make up the smooth-jazz supergroup Fourplay are the creme de la creme of the studio scene. They've probably graced the albums of more artists than there are notes on this recording. So you can be sure that when they come together to make a collective musical statement like HEARTFELT, you're in for some of the most immaculate production and technically flawless musicianship this side of Steely Dan, without all the smart-ass misanthropy to get in the way. From Larry Carlton's biting guitar solo on the sinuous opener "Galaxia" to Bob James's poignant, melodic piano work on the title tune, there's glitch-free instrumental expression aplenty on HEARTFELT. And when the band lays into a slow-burning funky groove such as the one that powers "Ju-Ju," the contributions of drummer Harvey Mason and bassman Nathan East are equally apparent. Most impressive, though, is the way all the members of this quartet work together as a unit in the service of realizing a vision larger than any of the individual players.