Tue, 22 September 2015
"Just call Nathan; it's locked." – Lionel Richie
He could only be talking about Nathan East, the man who is credited on more than 2,000 albums and several Grammy-winning songs including "Get Lucky," "Footloose" and "Change the World." Perhaps the most in-demand sideman in jazz and pop today, his career has gone from being a 16-year-old touring with Barry White's Love Unlimited Orchestra to Grammy Award-winning session player for Daft Punk, Beyoncé, Barbra Streisand, EricClapton and so many more.
Nathan’s latest project is a duet member with a fellow founding member of the contemporary jazz group Fourplay, Bob James. The New Cool (on Yamaha Entertainment Group of America is the first true duet project for both, as they follow in footsteps of the legendary bass and piano combos like Eddie Gomez and Bill Evans.
The album has a gentle sound, a combination of epic melodies (on new and old songs) and soulful tunes. James, the distinguished pianist, and East, an unparalleled bass player, are both known for the meticulousness and originality in their music. Both have made careers alternating between electric and acoustic sounds, so while the listener’s initial reaction might be one of surprise, eventually they win you over, assisted by James’ strong arrangements.
James recorded his first solo album 52 years ago and has since composed more than 30 solo albums in the genres of jazz and classical. East released his first solo album in 2014. That self-titled project, also on the Yamaha Entertainment Group label, climbed the charts, setting a record with 26 weeks at No. 1 on the SmoothJazz.com Top 50 chart and earning a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album. East was recently featured in a documentary film entitled For the Record, which is currently streaming on Hulu.
Podcast 496 is my conversation with Nathan as we talk gear, how he creates a bassline, and who might be on his very short list of musicians with whom he has not yet played. Musical selections from The New Cool include the classic “How Deep is the Ocean”; Willie Nelson’s “Crazy”, featuring a vocal by Vince Gill; and the original “All Will Be Revealed.” Two of Nathan’s past successes – Fourplay’s “Sebastian” and Eric Clapton’s “Before You Accuse Me (Take a Look at Yourself)” round out the podcast.