Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop
It's hard to believe that this is the eighth Fourplay album. It seems that the group tried so hard to duplicate the commercial success of their first three albums that they sleepwalked through the next three. Now freed fro... more »
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It's hard to believe that this is the eighth Fourplay album. It seems that the group tried so hard to duplicate the commercial success of their first three albums that they sleepwalked through the next three. Now freed from the corporate culture of the monolithic record company they once answered to, the supergroup has re-energized and finally, after 10 years, surpassed the artistic success of their marvelous self-titled debut. It's as if some of their smooth-jazz slickness has been worn away, because Heartfelt actually shows there are some hard edges to the group. Oh sure, Harvey Mason's "That's the Time," Larry Carton's "Rollin,'" and Nathan East's "Let's Make Love," may find their way to radio and help push album sales, but on many of the tracks, including two they wrote collectively ("Galaxia," "Café L'Amour"), there's a bit too much sizzle for airplay. Carlton has really settled into the group and he actually has some burning guitar solos that will also never be heard on said staid airwaves. On a couple of tracks, Bob James echoes his very popular '70s keyboard sound, especially "Break It Out," which is very reminiscent of his classic "Westchester Lady." --Mark Ruffin
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Finally, Fourplay back to the Groove
Peter J. Swingle | Phoenix, AZ USA | 10/16/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've been a fan of Fourplay for a long time, and have all of their releases. While Elixir is probably still my favorite, this disc comes really close to the energy and chemistry on that one. The first track is one of the highlights of the disc. It sucks you right in and sets the mood quite well. It's atypical of their previous work and sounds fresh and exploratory. The next few tracks follow the standard Fourplay time signatures and chord progressions. Then there's the obligatory vocal track - 'Let's Make Love', which could have easily been left off to increase this collection to 4 1/2 or 5 stars. Nathan should save his songwriting for a solo disc and save us the time skipping over his tracks on the Fourplay discs. Then the group collectively kick it up a notch on 'Tally Ho' and Cafe L'Amour, which are wonderful compositions, again very fresh and energized sounding. Fourplay sets the bar pretty high for a lot of the jazz pretenders out there fiddling with their programming. There's nothing like the chemistry of a group where every musician is above par and allowed to contribute their musical talents to find new heights. 12 tracks: playing time: 66:03"
Tired of the polish of the radio stuff..?
Scott Woods | Columbus, Ohio United States | 11/09/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Somebody really cool that they respect must have gotten to these guys and said, "Enough already; just play".A couple of the tracks still sit pretty pat in the contemporary jazz radio chair ("Let's Make Love" being the most blatant culprit here), but much of this record is simply too cool and out-of-the-norm to fall inbetween Marion Meadows and the 13th Sade song that hour on your average radio dial. There's WAY less vocal action here for once, allowing the band to really show off why getting together in the first place was such a good idea: all of these guys are legends in their own right and having them play together is asking for a great time. They seem to be reaching backwards a little, with grooves and arrangements that challenge casual listening but keep you nodding your head with the beat...like Bob James USED to do all of the time (not Grover Washington-period funky, but definitely in line with his 80s stuff before it went too soft). "Galaxia" and "Cafre L'amour" have some serious teeth.If you miss the Yellowjackets circa 1990, or the local jazz radio station seems to run the same sax player over a Lisa Stansfield beat one too many times for your taste anymore, get this record. It's sharp as a tack and I'm sure will make some long-standing fans turn their heads a little, but will recover longtime fans of the players who wrote this group off about album #3 or so."
Great album but buyers skip track 5
Russell Nielsen | Aurora, Colorado United States | 01/24/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've just recently bought this cd and i absolutely love it. Bob, Nathan, Larry and Harvey play together very well and you can tell that the all the music blends in together. For instance take Larry's Guitar playing, He is absolutely marvelous, the nice soft upbeat strumming of each string just makes you wanna buy his solo albums which are very hard to find. And Bob's Piano playing, his hands joyfully dancing on the keys. Nathan's soft quiet Bass in the backround and Harvey's mellow drumming. You can tell that these band members get along very well. Just look at their smiling faces on the cover of the album. These guys are at peace with themselves and each other. They really like what they do. The only song I have issues with is track 5 "Lets Make Love" That song was so out of place it aint even funny. Did we really need Babyface's vocals on that song? i think it could've been a lot better if he wasn't singing. So buyers if you are considering buying this album. Skip Track 5"