Fourplay

X

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Smooth-jazz journeymen Fourplay reunite for X and deliver more solid, lite-instrumental sounds. Centered around the talents of keyboardist Bob James, guitarist Larry Carlton, bassist Nathan East and drummer Harvey Mason, Fourplay also feature here blue-eyed-soul icon Michael Mcdonald who takes an inspired vocal turn on the Steve Winwood tune "My Love's Leavin'. It's a great track that nicely exploits the aesthetic connection and '70s heritage of both smooth jazz and soft-rock. Similarly appealing are James's noirish "Screenplay showcasing Carlton's bluesy chops and James's urbane keyboard style; as well as East's slow R&B ballad "Sunday Morning". This is a softly-funky, superbly crafted and unapologetically low key album. Frankly, that's what longtime fans have come to expect from these masters of smooth and in that sense X succeeds.

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