Throughout the illustrious career that Nathan East has had, he has remained one of the most sought after bassists in the industry. The beauty that lies within that enormous calling is that Nathan has worked with the best of the best. His career has evolved so that he gets to work with musicians that he once just admired. In honor of those who have inspired and continue to inspire him, his latest album is titled “REVERANCE.” The album was produced by Nathan and Chris Gero. Sharing the spotlight with Nathan are Philip Bailey on East’s cover of “Love’s Holiday” and Verdine White and Ralph Johnson on “Serpentine Fire.” “REVERANCE” also features Kirk Whalum, Yolanda Adams, Ruben Studdard, Chuck Loeb, Chick Corea, and Nikki Yanofsky. Nathan’s son Noah joins him once again and is featured on piano. Nathan will spend the remainder of 2017 on the road with Fourplay, Eric Clapton, and Chick Corea.
Keyboardist Mark Etheredge, armed with a diverse musical background, has come full circle and is set to release the instrumental album he has always wanted to. On February 28, 2016 at Spaghettini’s near Los Angeles, Mark will have a CD release party for “Connected.” Paul Brown produced the much anticipated album and was featured on two of the ten songs, including the title track. Guitarist Chuck Loeb of Fourplay is also a featured artist on the project. As of January 11, 2016, the first single and title track “Connected” was the number one most added song on the BDSradio Smooth Jazz Chart. “Connected” is the result of Mark’s message about humanity. Unfortunately, like so many other young people in our society, Mark experienced being bullied and developed a sense of being disconnected. Overcoming those feelings and empowering himself, Mark musically expressed it all with “Connected.” He recognizes our differences and expresses how we are all still “Connected.”
Fourplay: a legendary group that needs no introduction, much like its iconic band members Bob James, Nathan East, Harvey Mason, and Chuck Loeb. The rarity of a group sustaining longevity and success for twenty five years is virtually unheard of these days. Even more remarkable, each member is successful and has amazing careers individually. To celebrate the timeless essence of this group, Fourplay will release “Silver” on November 20th, 2015. “Silver” is a collection of all original songs quite apropos by representing silver in some manner. Former members of the group Larry Carlton and Lee Ritenhour were asked to join the project for this monumental recording. Additionally, long time friend of the group Kirk Whalum lent his one-of-a-kind sound to “Silver.” Bob, Nathan, Chuck, and Harvey share an undeniable cohesive bond and share language that illuminates with every note they play.
I spoke with guitarist Chuck Loeb about the groups’ “Silver” anniversary:
Cool: precisely the way I describe the new album from Bob James and Nathan East titled “The New Cool.” The new album will be released on September 18, 2015. James and East step into duo mode with pure ease; that is to be expected since the two have been friends and musical collaborators for over 25 years. Individually and collectively as part of the legendary group, Fourplay, Bob James and Nathan East have been making music for a very long time. It was the obvious next step for the two of them to embark upon a journey together doing what they do best. As friends and collaborators, the ease of which the two fused their talents with just a piano and upright bass was masterful. That camaraderie and spirit shines forth in every note of every song on “The New Cool.” It is comprised of an array of original songs and a few covers of some good old favorites, like Willie Nelson’s “Crazy” on which Vince Gill delivered stellar vocals. East describes the project as an opportunity to step outside their comfort zone and present the music as pure and unplugged as possible–no filters, no barriers, and no rhythm section to hide behind. The result is a recording like none other you’ve heard from either of them as well as a beautiful representation of two legendary artists and their friendship.
Nathan and I have a wonderful conversation about “The New Cool”:
If you’re a fan of the best musicians in the world, or if you’ve ever listened to any music, I assure you you’ve heard the sounds of Nathan East. He’s been making music for the last 40 years and has set a precedent that far supersedes most musicians’ careers. Nathan is driven by his passion for music and his family. Those forces have propelled him to the top of his craft. Additionally, he is a founding member of the renowned group, Fourplay whom he still performs with. All throughout his career, he’s been a sought-after collaborative force that has worked with the best in the industry in a variety of genres. At the behest of fellow musicians, East took a leap into the spotlight releasing his debut solo self-titled album, “Nathan East.” For his fans worldwide who love his music, he has delivered a collection of songs that will leave you longing for more. For this project, he joined forces with Bob James, Chuck Loeb, Michael McDonald, Sara Barielles, and his own son featured on the song “Yesterday.” Although this is Nathan’s solo album, he remains true to who he is as a seasoned musician and welcomes his collaborators to showcase their talents, as well.
Nathan tells me about his journey and how blessed he feels everyday.