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Fourplay – Silver

Oct. 31, 2015

A truly silver event celebrating a quarter of a century of jazz excellence, each track’s title on supergroup Fourplay’s latest offering, Silver, has the word “silver” expressed or implied in each song title. A very clever approach for presenting such an actually 24-carat golFourplay CDd effort.

Of course, each of these stellar musicians has individually penned compositions for this gem, and the group invited former guitarists Larry Carlton and Lee Ritenour and master saxman Kirk Whalum to offer their dazzling talents, as well. What else but brilliance could you expect from such a project? But then, those of you who know Fourplay (and who doesn’t?) know that they always wear brilliance like a second skin.

Offering generous slices of perfection on tunes like the lead track “Quicksilver,” which is so Fourplay and was written by the nimble-fingered Chuck Loeb, the catchy smooth and slick finger-snapping tribute to the late masterful jazz pianist Horace Silver on “Horace,” written by the worldly and accomplished Bob James, the rousing, up-tempo “Silverado,” co-written by Loeb and Carlton, the hauntingly beautiful and intensely riveting “Silver Streak,” co-penned by the classy Harvey Mason and vocalist Chris Wells, Loeb’s oh-so-smooth “Precious Metal” featuring Whalum’s soulful and moving sax offering, and the snappy “Aniversário” from one of the most prolific and insightful bassists I have ever experienced, Nathan East, Silver is jam-packed with sophistication, mastery, melody, and musical majesty.

If ever there is printed a book entitled “The intricacies and mysteries of jazz mastery and creativity,” each member of Fourplay – past and present – deserves a page in that book. Never disappointing and always more than entertaining (in fact, therapeutic), this iconic band will always stand at the very pinnacle of jazz with few equals. – Ronald Jackson