Smooth Jazz Sunday: Elixir

Today’s song is by the smooth jazz supergroup Fourplay, but the post itself is going to be mostly about the bass player for that group, Nathan East. Earlier this year, I posted his version of “America The Beautiful” just before Independence Day, which was taken from his first album as a solo artist. East has been a session man, a touring bassist, and a collaborator with some of music’s biggest names, but had never had an album out under his own name until 2014.

East has been involved with some memorable music during the course of his thirty-six years in the music business. Some of his earliest session work was done with Barry White. He played with Kenny Loggins on “Footloose.” He also played on and co-wrote “Easy Lover,” the smash hit by Philip Bailey and Phil Collins. He’s played at Live Aid, and also has toured with Eric Clapton.

In 1990, East became one of the original members of Fourplay, and that association has lasted for over twenty-five years. Formed with smooth jazz veterans Bob James, Lee Ritenour and Harvey Mason, the group has been one of the most successful bands in the genre from the time they released their first album in 1991. For Smooth Jazz Sunday, I chose to feature the track “Elixir” from the album of the same name. I think it’s perfect for a Sunday morning.

I hope you enjoy today’s Smooth Jazz Sunday song, and as always thank you for listening and reading.

30 Replies to “Smooth Jazz Sunday: Elixir”

  1. So, you already know!

    I am digging this but I have to say that I had no idea that Nathan East had a career that has endured for 36 years. Good grief that’s a long time!
    I’ll admit that I haven’t seen him lately but, the last time I did, he looked quite youthful and vibrant.
    See there, now I gotsta google him! Curses! You did it again ๐Ÿ™‚

    Anyway, thanks Twin for a very smooth start to my morning!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome, Twin! What I neglected to mention about Nathan East is that he also played bass on Daft Punk and Pharrell’s “Get Lucky.” Not only has he endured, he is thriving still! Fourplay has been around for twenty-five of those 36 years.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Know that’s what I’m talking about. I like the fact that you stressed how well he is thriving. Good to see that he has been able to be in the business that long and not succumb to some of the usual suspects- if you know what I mean.
        What say you?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes it is a blessing that he has been able to hang around that long and do such great work over so many decades. This video I watched before I started writing gives a tour of his home and he references some of his accomplishments in his career.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice one Tracy! You know I have the CD but had never listened to this song – makes me think of hauling out some of my CDs that I haven’t listened to in ages.

    Thanks for putting the spotlight on Nathan. I did google him and his story is quite impressive. He has done 2000 recordings in his lifetime and is quite a businessman besides being an accomplished musician. I loved the video about him and his house. He makes it look so easy to have accomplished what he has and to live the life he has but I bet it’s taken lots of hard work, sacrifice and an astute brain to live his dream. Great post Tracy!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Chevvy! Yes, I’d say it’s pretty obvious that I like to go back and revisit old favorites every now and then; one of the great things about music is that it has no expiration date.

      Yes, East has been one of the busiest session players and artists throughout his career. I really enjoy his work in Fourplay, both as bassist and sometime vocalist (it is his voice with Chaka Khan in Fourplay’s version of The Isley Brothers’ “Between The Sheets.” He truly does look as if he is “living the dream,” doing what he loves and loving what he is doing. It truly doesn’t get any better than that.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, the dream life indeed. I love Fourplay and he is an important ingredient. Yesterday – we went back to the old Neighbourhood for heritage day and someone was playing their music for the entire street – I didn’t mind though since just about every song was an old classic that I loved. Of course if you play music that loud where I live now – the’d call the po-lice๐Ÿ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I guess that’s our heritage then. In the meanwhile I’ve had my own speakers vibrating. I wanted to share one of the smooth jazz songs I’ve been listening to called ” Feels so Good” by Rod Williams – couldn’t find a video version but I found this one with lovely Autumn shades – so here you go:

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thanks Joan. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I wanted you to listen to Feel so Good, which is my favourite but I like this one too and the picture was a cherry on the cake. Yes, it is good “Sunday coming down” material so here I am squatting on Tracy’s blog ha!ha!

        Liked by 3 people

      4. It’s a lovely song, Chevvy. A marvelous pick. I had been out most of the afternoon, but when I came home I gave it a listen and I really enjoyed it. I will be looking for the song you suggested, as well as more music from Mr. Williams. Thanks for sharing!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I’m glad you enjoyed it Tracy. You can listen to Feel so Good on Itunes, taken from the same Album. Some of the artists I’m listening to these days are not so well known but doing good. I’ll share a few other names when I have time and you are welcome to do the same. Have a great week! Chevvy

        Liked by 2 people

  3. An impressive career! WOW! The bass is such an integral component of the jazz sound, but sometimes gets lost under the main melody, horns, drums, etc. I paid special attention to it while listening to this–masterful, the way those notes anchor the whole piece, how they can sound heavy and yet so light at the same time. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Joan! It is true that the bass anchors many a jazz piece. Whether it is traditional or straight ahead jazz, or smooth jazz like this, it serves as the anchor that everything else is tied to. Your description of the bass in this song is wonderful; makes me want to hear it again with your words in front of me so that I can appreciate the performance and the way you spoke about it. Thanks for the insight!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Paula, I’m glad to hear that you liked the song! No worries about the error, I’m sure autocorrect had something to do with it. Some Sundays I pick songs like that one, while others I’ll pick up the tempo. I guess I wanted something to ease into the day also!

      Liked by 1 person

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