Let's Touch the Sky - (Import CD)


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  1. Performer
  2. Jazz Instrument
  3. Smooth
Mono / Stereo
Copy Control
Let's Touch the Sky

Personnel: Nathan East (vocals); Chuck Loeb (guitar); Bob James (keyboards); Harvey Mason, Sr. (drums, percussion).
Recording information: Castle Oaks Studio, Calabasas, CA; Mason Soudn, North Hollywood, CA.
Photographer: Sandrine Lee.
It would be incorrect to say that not much has changed Fourplay's sound since they began recording together in 1991. That said, while these musicians -- who were all successful artists individually -- have continued to evolve, as a group they've stayed remarkably focused on what they do best: play elegant, seamless, contemporary jazz with a light sexy groove. Keyboardist Bob James, drummer/percussionist Harvey Mason, and bassist Nathan East have remained constants but guitarists have come and gone: Chuck Loeb replaces Larry Carlton (who originally replaced founding member Lee Ritenour) for Let's Touch the Sky, Fourplay's 11th recording. James' title track composition kicks things off with a breezy Brazilian groove before strings paint an airy, almost cinematic backdrop. Loeb's "3rd Degree" ups the funk quotient with some hard-grooving guitar, ever-present rolling breaks by Mason, and some knotty synth work. His "Above and Beyond" provides the kind of guitar-led group interactive euphoria usually associated with Pat Metheny. Mason's "Pineapple Getaway" has irresistible synth and Rhodes work by James, but it's Loeb's stellar guitar work that makes this Caribbean-flavored groover one of the set's finest moments. "Gentle Giant," written by James in memory of Hank Jones, features a stellar upright bass solo from East. There are three vocal tracks on the set as well. East takes one on his "I'll Still Be Lovin' You," and Anita Baker lays down a fine one on her reading of "You're My Thrill." The most remarkable one is the deeply soulful, warmly expressive take of Cecil and Linda Womack's "Love TKO" by Ruben Studdard, with some excellent atmospherics provided by James and Mason. Fourplay's formulaic approach is firmly intact on Let's Touch the Sky and the band is firing on all cylinder, making this a fine entry in 2010's contemporary jazz oeuvre. ~ Thom Jurek

Heads Up International
Studio / Live
Songs / Tracks
  1. [ Disc 01 Track 01 ] Let's Touch the Sky
  2. [ Disc 01 Track 02 ] 3rd Degree
  3. [ Disc 01 Track 03 ] More Than a Dream
  4. [ Disc 01 Track 04 ] Pineapple Getaway
  5. [ Disc 01 Track 05 ] I'll Still Be Lovin' You
  6. [ Disc 01 Track 06 ] Gentle Giant (For Hank)
  7. [ Disc 01 Track 07 ] Night in Rio, A
  8. [ Disc 01 Track 08 ] Love TKO
  9. [ Disc 01 Track 09 ] Above and Beyond
  10. [ Disc 01 Track 10 ] Golden Faders
  11. [ Disc 01 Track 11 ] You're My Thrill - (featuring Anita Baker)
  1. Fourplay
Universal Distribution
JazzTimes (p.54) - "Once again, Fourplay reminds us that the 'smooth' in smooth jazz doesn't have to be blasphemous. In their hands, 'smooth jazz' never felt as good and true."
62m 32s
Video Disabled
Ken Freeman
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