Audio CD (August 8, 2006)
Original Release Date: August 8, 2006
Number of Discs: 1
Label: RCA Victor
01. Turnabout 6:21
02. Cinnamon Sugar 4:48
03. Eastern Sky 6:37
04. Kid Zero 4:48
05. My Love's Leavin' 5:11
06. Screenplay 6:04
07. Twilight Touch 4:57
08. Be My Lover 4:13
09. Sunday Morning 3:53
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Fourplay is the quintessential Smooth Jazz super group. The precision and
impeccable execution with which they perform their music is a marvel to
behold, both on disc and in person. X is an extraordinary album, in that it
encompasses the signature sounds of Bob James, Larry Carlton, Nathan East,
and Harvey Mason with a dynamic and freshness that's at once timely and
timeless. Since I really don't need to tell you anything more about these
guys than you already know, let's run the tracks down. "Turnabout" -
Classic Bob James... elegant, tasteful, robust; "Cinnamon Sugar" - Tasty,
tasty, tasty, and my bet for the next single... Larry upfront and shining;
"Eastern Sky" - Ethereal and powerful... glistening with synth and Nathan's
fretless bass work and wordless vocals; "Kid Zero" - Harvey wrote this
gem...engaging, signature ensemble Fourplay, with lots of Nathan on bass
and scatting; "My Love's Leavin'" - Huge first single, featuring Michael
McDonald's awesome new spin on the Steve Winwood classic; "Screenplay" -
Very hip, very sophisticated and complex, with great solos from Bob and
Larry; "Twilight Touch" - A languid, sensual ballad...gorgeous melody,
solos from Larry, Nathan and Bob with a sultry synth backing; "Be My Lover"
- Duet vocal refrain from Larry's wife, Michelle Pillar and Nathan
highlights another potential hit single; "Sunday Morning" - Larry's guitar
work gives this gentle bluesy ballad a captivating, down home feel. So,
there you have it...the stunning new Fourplay - X. Smooth Jazz just does
not get any better than this. Period! ~SCOTT O'BRIEN
his is a welcome return to form by the smooth jazz quartet comprising Bob
James on keys, Harvey Mason on drums, Larry Carlton on guitar and Nathan
East on bass. I've been a Fourplay fan from the start but found the last
two albums rather iffy to say the least. Heartfelt was saved, for me, by a
mere three songs: "Tally Ho!", "Goin' Back Home" and "Making Up". The only
song I really liked on Journey was "Rozil".
But this, album number 10, is a complete and solid set. I particularly like
the Jaco-esque stuff Nathan East does on "Eastern Sky" and "Twilight
Touch", and some of Harvey Mason's drum patterns are particularly exciting.
I was sure they were using a drum machine until a couple more listens - and
a throrough scanning of the inner-sleeve notes - persuaded me otherwise. I
still wonder though.
They are trying new things but equally trying not to stray too far from
their comfort zone, so on the one hand, the trademark Fourplay sound is
still intact (which I think is a good thing) but then on the other, like an
earlier reviewer remarked, it would be so much better to see them be even
more brave, daring and adventurous.
Michael McDonald's appearance on "My Love Is Leavin'" is pure class (now
that's a REAL singer!) and "Sunday Morning" is pure bliss. So much so that
like most good songs I enjoy, I thought it ended way too soon.
Maybe it's unfair to compare Fourplay's work now with their earlier stuff
after all, Lee Ritenour is a very different guitarist to Larry Carlton.
Besides, should it really be about the guitarist? This is a foursome after
all and there's also a keyboardist, a bassist and a drummer. The
replacement of one member shouldn't really make that much of a difference.
But it did. I have to tell my own truth: To me, this is album ALMOST as
good as their earlier stuff...