Nathan East – Nathan East (2014) [Qobuz FLAC 24bit/48kHz]

Nathan East – Nathan East (2014) 
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz | Time – 01:00:21 minutes | 738 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Front Cover | © Yamaha Entertainment Group

Nathan East, America’s preeminent bassist, after four decades performing with some of the biggest names in music, releases his first-ever solo record. The album features appearances by many of Nathan’s friends and past collaborators including Sara Bareilles, Eric Clapton, Michael McDonald, and Stevie Wonder. The album epitomizes Nathan’s time as a go-to player in the funk, soul and jazz world. “Daft Funk,” Nathan’s ode to the Grammy-winning album he helped record with Daft Punk, is the album’s first single and has reached #3 on the Billboard smooth jazz charts.

When Daft Punk went to make Random Access Memories, the seeking of Nathan East was one of the smartest moves they made. East provided basslines on nine of the album’s songs, including “Get Lucky,” a number two Hot 100 hit. The album won the Grammy for Album of the Year and shined a little mainstream light on him as well as several other unsung session musicians who have been active for decades with little recognition. There’s a nod here to the French duo on the smooth disco-funk tune “Daft Funk,” but otherwise, East’s first solo album plays it straight to those who have avidly followed the musician’s career, from his earliest session work in the late ’70s through his albums with modern jazz group Fourplay. East calls upon a large cast of fellow session veterans, as well as several stars who have benefited from his recorded and live work. Unsurprisingly, this is a loose, superbly played set with the feel of a celebration. It kicks into full gear with a rollicking instrumental version of Stevie Wonder’s “Sir Duke,” on which East’s bass serves as lead. Later on, Stevie himself provides a lead — on harmonica — throughout a relaxed version of his “Overjoyed.” Van Morrison’s “Moondance,” featuring Michael McDonald, begins subtly but quickly switches into a romp that involves saxophonist Tom Scott and trumpeter Chuck Findley; McDonald is so energized at one point that his wailing sounds more like that of Arthur Brown than that of Morrison. Cleverly, that song is trailed by a Sara Bareilles-fronted “I Can Let Go Now,” a song written by McDonald that originally appeared on his own solo debut. Eric Clapton, who has utilized East on the road and in hits such as “Tears in Heaven” and “Change the World,” helps revisit Blind Faith’s “Can’t Find My Way Home” with subtle electric lines, while East doubles — rather impressively! — on lead vocal. A lot of other notable musicians are involved here, including Bob James and Chuck Loeb (two of East’s Fourplay partners), Ray Parker, Jr., Vinnie Colauita, David Paich, Paulinho Da Costa, and drummer Ricky Lawson, who plays on most of the cuts and passed away in December 2013. ~ Andy Kellman

01 – 101 Eastbound
02 – Sir Duke
03 – Letter From Home
04 – Moondance (feat. Michael McDonald)
05 – I Can Let Go Now (feat. Sara Bareilles)
06 – Daft Funk (feat. Mr. Talkbox)
07 – SeveNate
08 – Can’t Find My Way Home (feat. Eric Clapton)
09 – Moodswing
10 – Overjoyed
11 – Yesterday (Duet with Noah East)
12 – Madiba
13 – America The Beautiful

Musicians (excerpt):
Nathan East – bass, vocals
Ricky Lawson – drums
Eric Clapton – guitar
Chuck Loeb – guitar
Michael Thompson – guitar
Jeff Babko – keyboards
Tim Carmon – keyboards
Bob James – keyboards
Steve Wonder – vocals (on “Sir Duke”)