Renowned jazz quartet Fourplay has once again come together to release Esprit De Four, their twelfth studio album and a collection of ten songs composed by each of the members in the group. The album became available September 2012 on Heads Up International, a division of Concord.
As part of this album, Fourplay’s members include keyboards Bob James, bassist and vocalist Nathan East, guitarist Chuck Loeb and drummer Harvey Mason. Past members of the group have included Lee Ritenour and Larry Carlton (both guitarists).
Loeb’s contributions to the album include “December Dream,” “Sonnymoon” and “Logic of Love.” “Firefly” was written by Nathan East and Tom Keane as was “All I Wanna Do” where East is also featured as a vocalist. Drummer Harvey Mason added “Venus” and “Esprit de Four.”
Bob James wrote “Put Our Hearts Together” as a tribute to the victims of the tsunami that struck Japan in March 2011. The lyrics were written by his daughter Hilary James and were sung by Japanese pop singer Seiko Matsuda. James also wrote “Sugoi,” another piece inspired by Japan. As said by the composer, “Despite many attempts to learn the language, I admit to knowing only the most basic conversational phrases. The title means ‘Nice…I like it.’ I hope people will say that after they hear the song.”
Overall, Esprit de Four is a continuation of the Fourplay legacy – a heartfelt and well-performed collaboration between some of the best musicians in the genre.
Title: Esprit de Four
Date: September 18, 2012
Genre: Smooth Jazz, Jazz
Label: Heads Up
01 December Dream
05 Put Our Hearts Together (Instrumental Version)
06 All I Wanna Do
07 Logic of Love
08 Esprit de Four
10 Put Our Hearts Together (Vocal Version)
Fun fact: “Esprit de Four” is a play on words that kind of translates into “Spirit of Four,” hinting at the name of the band. However, “four” is in fact a French word meaning “oven,” so the band’s album actually directly translates into “Spirit of the Oven”.