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The New Cool

4.2 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 18, 2015
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Editorial Reviews

After 25 years of collaboration, Bob James and Nathan East are set to release their debut duo album The New Cool in September on Yamaha Entertainment Group. The New Cool marks new territory for legendary jazz pianist Bob James and bassist Nathan East, who’ve spent decades playing together in contemporary jazz quartet Fourplay but never before as an official duo. “The more I played with Nathan over the course of many live performances and spanning more than 20 years, the more in sync we were whether or not we had the anchor of the drums,” says James. “Something special happens when we only have each other’s notes to play off of, when the music is totally exposed.” Recorded entirely in Nashville, Tennessee, the album is a collection of original material contributed by both James and East, along with a small selection of standards. The duo’s musicianship is laid bare in a soulful reimagining of Irving Berlin’s “How Deep is the Ocean,” while the pair is joined by strings and woodwinds for a surprising take on Willie Nelson’s classic country hit “Crazy.” A two-time Grammy Award-winning jazz pianist, arranger, and producer, Bob James is recognized as one of the original founders of smooth jazz. Long revered in the hip-hop community, James’ compositions are among the most sampled songs in history. Nathan East was 16 years old when he went on the road with Barry White and has spent the last four decades playing with a who’s who of performers, including Quincy Jones, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Michael Jackson, Phil Collins, Whitney Houston, Beyoncé, Barbra Streisand, and Stevie Wonder. East performed on the 2014 Grammy Record of The Year, Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky.” The New Cool is produced by Chris Gero, Bob James, and Nathan East. It comes on the heels of East’s Grammy-nominated solo debut, Nathan East, also released on Yamaha Entertainment Group.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 18, 2015)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Yamaha Entertainment Group
  • ASIN: B012CZ4ZK6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,784 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I love that review - "needs more guitars". Has to be from a guitar player! Truth be told it's an excellent album and how could you possibly go wrong with these two? I wasn't a big Fourplay guy but these new tracks fit nicely following the last Bob James / David Sanborn collaboration and Nathan's very first solo album, both of which I can't stop spinning in my car and home. I play bass in a piano / bass jazz combo and the music reflected here is very inspiring on many levels. I'm also glad there isn't a lot of other instrumentation besides their's. It's a hard thing to pull off but they are absolute masters so what should we expect? Just a beautiful recording through and through.
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Format: Audio CD
Wonderful compositions and marvelous interpretations of standards (How Deep Is The Ocean). Very tasty and truly "pianistic" playing by Bob James (as always). Stellar interplay between Bob James and Nathan East (reminds me of the later Bill Evans/Eddie Gomez albums). Wonderful sound and highly dynamic mastering. Very relaxing music with true substance. Highly recommended!
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Format: Audio CD
Most jazz enthusiasts should be very familiar with not only the legendary jazz pianist Bob James but also the in demand session bass player Nathan East. While James is best known mainstream wise for his song “Angela” that was the introduction to the famous late seventies comedy “Taxi”, Nathan East is probably one of the music industries’ most in demand bass players that you will scroll forever on his website and lose count of which artists he has played with. That said, James and East are very familiar with each other as they have extensively collaborated in the contemporary jazz super group Fourplay that you have to begin to wonder if that particular group was simply musical foreplay to this intriguing duet.

Needless to say The New Cool leans less to the contemporary nature of the band they are currently featured in with inclinations more to an underlying improvisational feel to it with East predominantly featured on a stand up acoustic bass. Despite some embellishments from the Nashville Recording Orchestra along with the clean production of the two artists along with the assistance of Chris Gero and Bryan Lennox, The New Cool has a more stripped down superstar lounge feel to it.

While the album focuses on the super smooth musical interludes and interactions of James and East for the most part, the core of the album decides to focus on a Willie Nelson composition “Crazy” that features the attractive yet reserved vocals of Vince Gill. Equally as impressive is the breezy Brazilian jazz influenced composition “Canto Y La Danza” that also features Rafael Padilla on percussion and Scott Williamson on drums. It is here that we hear East on the electric bass otherwise he is predominantly featured on the stand up acoustic bass.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
One cannot go wrong when you combine these two outstanding artists. Bob James and Nathan East have combined their talents over many years as members of Fourplay. I have been a fan of Fourplay since their inception and continue to enjoy all of their releases, as well as combinations such as this album. In my book, they are truly jazz personified! Don't miss this exquisite collection.
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By Ryuta Hosaka on September 30, 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Another my favorite of Bob James and Nathan East. While no guitar or literary less drum sections, the music here is grooving and synchronizing perfectly. Somebody might say this is just one of jazz album, but to me this is one of the best music this year.
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I like Bob James sound and I get plenty of it here. Nathan East is a player of all musical types and compliments the music with some very nice bass runs. I have only listened to it a couple times at this point but it goes nice as a playlist album and background music.
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A very good collaboration between Bob and Nathan. Their experience together shows in the selections. I especially liked A Waltz For Judy written by Nathan for Bob's wife. A very intimate but intellectual piece. I see movie score writing in their future!
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It's nice listening to this album. Soothing. But if I have to compare the "Cool " album Bob James and Earl Klugh did from 24 years ago... that one is hands down better. But then again, there are nice pieces on this New Cool: like Crazy, Waltz for Judy (the composer and the pianist must have had a very good night with this Judy), the music is purely magical.
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