is an all-star band featuring Larry Carlton (guitar), Bob James (keyboards), Nathan East (bass) and Harvey Mason (drums). Each and every one of them is a renowned jazz musician, considered the bee’s knees of fusion jazz. Fourplay’s foundations were laid out when East, Mason and - at the time - guitarist Lee Ritenour hit the studios in 1991 to record Bob James’ album Grand Piano Canyon
. The collaboration felt so good, that the quartet decided to become a regular band. Just a few facts to illustrate Fourplay’s immediate popularity: their eponymous debut was an album that topped ‘Billboard's Contemporary Jazz Charts’ for 33 weeks. Later their Elixer
album held the number one spot for 99 weeks and its follow-up, an album entitled 4
, rocketed straight to the highest position. You might say that these four musicians are the four pillars on which the American pop, rock, R&B and fusion industry was constructed. And all of us have once heard them play, on a record or during a concert. Bob James, who started out as a jazz musician pur sang as Sarah Vaughan’s accompanist. Later he made jazz records in pop setting with a/o Grover Washington Jr. Harvey Mason more or less followed the same path. After some straight ahead jazz work with George Shearing, Gerry Mulligan and Erroll Garner, he made the switch to more fusion oriented repertoire via Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters. Nathan East’s rock solid bass lines anchored the music of Barry White, Kenny Loggins, Lionel Ritchie and Dionne Warwick and could be heard live on stage with Eric Clapton. At the end of the nineties Larry Carlton replaced Lee Ritenour, and with that golden replacement Fourplay recruited a musician who made history with legendary guitar solo’s in the equally legendary band Steely Dan.