TAS Rated 3.5/5 Music, 4.5/5 Sonics in the July/August 2021 Issue of The Absolute Sound!
First released in 1997, The Best Of Fourplay showcases the smooth jazz supergroup's signature style of indelible melodies, tasteful arrangements and addictive, toe-tapping grooves. Besides choice album cuts from Fourplay's Warner Bros repertoire, the 10-track compilation includes the bands's hit versions of Marvin Gaye's "After The Dance", fronted by the silky-voiced El DeBarge, and the Isley Brothers' "Between The Sheets", featuring legendary soul singer, Chaka Khan.
The album, released for the first time ever on vinyl, was remastered using hi-resolution digital transfers from the original analog master tapes and is manufactured with high quality 180 gram Vinyl.
A smooth jazz supergroup originally comprising Bob James (Keyboards), Lee Ritenour (guitar), Nathan East (bass) and Harvey Mason (drums), Fourplay was formed in 1990 and patented an immediately identifiable pop-jazz sound with their self-titled debut album in 1991. It topped the US jazz charts and went on to sell over a million copies. Since then, the long-running group, despite a couple of line-up changes, has maintained its popularity and, to date, has released 14 albums, three of which went gold, and earned six Grammy nominations.
Rather than show off their jazz chops, Fourplay focused on setting a relaxed, romantic mood that was enhanced by a clean, velvety sound. The new Evosound reissue was remastered using hi-res digital transfers from the original analog master tapes, and sonics are as pristine as the performances. While the instrumental tracks are appealing, the best moments match Fourplay with vocal guest artists, as when Take 6 delivers a thoughtful reading of Stevie Wonder's 'Higher Ground' or Phil Collins sings 'Why Can't I Wait till Morning.' For bedroom music you can't beat the performances where Fourplay joins forces wtih El DeBarge ('After the Dance'), Chaka Khan and Nathan East ('Between the Sheets'), and Patti Austin and Peabo Bryson ('The Closer I Get to You') - talk about setting the mood.
- 180g Vinyl
- Remastered (2020) by Steve Vavagiakis using hi-resolution digital transfers from the original analog master tapes
- Lacquer cutting in Germany from high resolution master
- First time on vinyl
- 101 Eastbound
- Higher Ground feat. Take 6
- 4 Play And Pleasure
- After The Dance feat. El DeBarge
- Bali Run
- Between The Sheets feat. Chaka Khan & Nathan East
- Any Time Of Day
- Why Can't It Wait Till Morning (Remix) feat. Phil Collins