Fourplay – Energy (CD)

Fourplay just released their “Energy”, their 11th album overall. While some individuals may not be familiar with their work after 1991’s “Fourplay”, which sold over a million copies and charted on the contemporary jazz charts for about two-thirds of a year, the energy that Fourplay brings to “Energy” should draw a wide array of fans, both new and old. The disc itself begins with “Fortune Teller”, a track that really sets the mood for the rest of the track. The smooth sound and dynamic that the band crafts during “Fortune Teller” makes the opening six minutes of the track follow through with rapidity, leading into “The Whistler”. “The Whistler” is a track that is important in that it follows the trends and overall approaches during the first track, while stepping out of “Fortune Teller”’s spotlight, fitting into a nook that may even bring them in fans of current R&B singers like Bobby Valentino.

The spicier sound of “The Whistler” keeps the momentum of “Energy” high”, and the act enters into a set of two shorter tracks – “Ultralight” and “Cape Town” that ensures that listeners will be focused in through the bulk of the remainer of the disc. “Cape Town” stands out as the stronger of the two, throwing in a set of vocals that further bolster the instrumentation present on the track while furthering a vocal narrative. The sandy, beach groove of “Cape Town” will undoubtedly keep listeners’ spirits up through the impending fall and winter, and provide a great stepping-off point for the “hump track”, “The Yes Club”. “The Yes Club” eschews the vocals of “Cape Town”, instead presenting a killer groove between the keyboards, bass, and guitars that is a true peak among a number of high mountains.

Esperanza Spalding’s work on “Prelude For Lovers” stokes back up the flames of the “Energy”, giving listeners the pep to make it through the next track, “Look Both Ways”. “Look Both Ways” is the longest track on the disc, allowing the constituent members of Fourplay the opportunity to weave together a comprehensive track that showcases the abilities of all; “Energy” is the perfect disc for Fourplay to hit with at this time, and I have a feeling that it will move copies at a pace that is not quite unlike that of their first album. If you like jazz that disregards genre borders and ideas of what’s “right” in the jazz form, make it a point to pick up “Energy”.

Top Tracks: Look Both Ways, The Yes Club

Rating: 8.5/10

Fourplay – Energy / 2008 Heads Up / 10 racks / http://www.headsup.com /

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University.

I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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