Keyboardist Bob James, bassist/vocalist Nathan East, guitarist Chuck Loeb and drummer/percussionist Harvey Mason offer listeners a solid program of brand new compositions written by each of them on their latest release titled Esprit de Four.
Chuck Loeb contributed three songs including the melodic opening track “December Dream,” “Sonnymoon,” and “Logic of Love.” Each song reflects Loeb’s stellar abilities as a guitarist and composer but because “December Dream” prominently features Harvey Mason’s 21st century orchestral snare drums, Nathan East’s amazing vocalese and walking bass lines as well as great counterpoint from Bob James, listeners will instantly realize that the song is truly a collaborative effort.
Nathan East’s and Tom Keane’s upbeat “Firefly” reveals East’s energetic electric bass chord progressions brighten the path for James’ keyboard solo and harmonic cushions from Mason and Loeb. East and Keane also wrote the romantic ballad “All I Wanna Do.” This song is a great vehicle for East’s sexy vocals and exposes another side of his creativity. “Venus” is another romantic gem that shines in the hands of Bob James and Chuck Loeb’s exemplary keyboard and guitar interplay. Mason also wrote the title track which also spotlights Loeb’s guitar expertise.
Three of the more poignant compositions are from the pen of Bob James. “Put Our Hearts Together” has a vocal rendition featuring Japanese pop singer Seiko Matsuda, as well as an instrumental rendition. This song is dedicated to the victims of the tsunami that ravaged Japan in 2011 and is certainly delivered from the heart. The instrumental version is just as perceptive and features Bob James’ delicate piano work that is finely tuned to the inspired events. Overall, the entire program is one that features the insightful performances by all of Fourplay’s members and their consummate professionalism as Esprit de Four.