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Jazz 21/09/2015

Transformationally "Cool": Bob James & Nathan East Redefine Their Grammy-Winning Jazz Muse On "The New Cool"

Transformationally "Cool": Bob James & Nathan East Redefine Their Grammy-Winning Jazz Muse On "The New Cool"

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Nashville, TN. (Top40 Charts) There's much to sink your teeth into when taking a bite into "The New Cool," the debut duets collection released Friday by contemporary jazz keyboard legend Bob James and master bassist Nathan East from Yamaha Entertainment Group. The scrumptious session produced by the duo and Yamaha Entertainment Group vice president/founder Chris Gero celebrates over 25 years of musical collaboration and friendship while rediscovering the Grammy-winning musicians' roots on the straight-ahead side of jazz with a surprising set of original intimate acoustic jazz compositions and a few handpicked classics. It's an immaculately-crafted outing destined to merit serious consideration come awards season while strong pre-sales figures point towards a chart-topper.

JazzTimes magazine premiered "The New Cool" on Monday by streaming the entire album on their website for free. This week, SiriusXM's Real Jazz channel added three cuts - the lush orchestral "All Will Be Revealed," the shuffling Brazilian jazzer "Canto Y La Danza" and the thundering "Turbulence" - to their playlist and will record an exclusive live performance by James and East early next month in their New York City studios. The duo adorns the cover of the September/October issue of Jazz Inside Magazine, which provides eight pages of comprehensive coverage of what bodes to be the "jazz event record of the year." Additional press is slated to hit shortly in M Music & Musicians, DownBeat, Jazziz and other national magazines, newspapers and websites just as the national radio campaign kicks into high gear.

At age 75, James has been there and done that, winning two Grammys and penning the theme song to a hit television series ("Taxi"). His vintage catalogue dating back to the 1970s is amongst the most frequently sampled in hip hop. For the past quarter century, he's captained the super group Fourplay, to which East also belongs. However, it's been several decades since the famed keyboardist has had the opportunity and the creative license to fully orchestrate tracks until Gero encouraged James to go big on "The New Cool," which sparked excitement and a gusher of creative fount. Having the Nashville Recording Orchestra at his command, James conjured up imaginative arrangements that perfectly underscored the scholarly piano and bass rhythms and poignant melodies, and dramatically illuminated the more grandiose productions, such as a lavish take on Willie Nelson's "Crazy" featuring a sublime lead vocal from country phenom Vince Gill, a single that has generated voracious interest at iTunes ahead of the album release.

Hot off of a Grammy nomination for his first solo record, 2014's "Nathan East," and a Grammy Record of the Year win for playing on Daft Punk's "Get Lucky," East was invigorated by being able to put down his trusty Yamaha electric bass in favor of recording primarily with an upright acoustic bass on this disc with James that plays like a masters class on performance, production, songwriting and arranging. Set to be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from Bass Player magazine this November, East has built an unparalleled career by playing with pop music royalty ever since he was 16 years-old boasting a long list of collaborators such as Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, George Harrison, Stevie Wonder and Beyoncé.

The visuals in support of "The New Cool" are equally captivating as Yamaha Entertainment Group captured and preserved the behind-the-scenes magic, which are being shared weekly in a ten-part series of video vignettes on and on the company's and the artists' social media. This fall, a full-length documentary film about the making of the album will arrive following in the award-winning footsteps of last year's "Nathan East: For The Record." Get a taste of what's to come in this trailer:

Below is a sampling of highlights from the early reviews:

"These jazz masters serve up a wholly rewarding and intimate set that's at once new and very cool." - M Music & Musicians

"Jazz with no walls or eyes on the clock is what these rascals serve up as they corral Vince Gill, the Nashville Recording Orchestra and more as they let 25 years of playing together show off the telepathy and simpatico they have evolved along the way. Real music for real listeners, slip on the headphones, block out the noise and let the magic have its way." - Midwest Record Recap

"Musical events of this caliber are truly rare. If you are a Jazz fan, you must get your hands on this album as soon as you can… you will not be disappointed!" - Bass Musician Magazine

"The entire album of originals and a few, spare covers is an acoustic splendor of what piano, keyboards, and bass can do given the right circumstances, the right engineering — recorded in Nashville, and the right collaborative duo." - Examiner

"As friends and collaborators, the ease of which the two fused their talents with just a piano and upright bass was masterful. That camaraderie and spirit shines forth in every note of every song on 'The New Cool.'…The result is a recording like none other you've heard from either of them as well as a beautiful representation of two legendary artists and their friendship." - Pink and Blue Notes

"With 'The New Cool,' Bob James and Nathan East won't have any worries because they've given their fans a different side of their creativity in an array of formats and without the presuppositions that come with launching a new straight-ahead jazz acoustic project."- AXS

"An audacious 11 tracker that might surprise those who know them chiefly via their work with Fourplay." - Soul and Jazz and Funk

"A remarkable, yet unusual album of acoustic jazz from half the group Fourplay." - Keys & Chords

"Sophisticated grooves that shed full light on what makes East and James -and the rest of the Fourplay gang, no doubt—the true jazz icons they have become. There is simply no way you cannot love these eclectic guys." - The Smooth Jazz Ride

"The focus is to celebrate instrumental music being played in a real sense and for the listener to experience real instruments playing music in what might be regarded as the old-fashioned way." - Smooth Jazz Therapy

"Combining the best of the past while still exploring new and uncharted territory, is Bob James' motto. With his companion Nathan East he remains true to this habit on 'The New Cool.'" - Smooth Jazz Daily

"The New Cool" is available through most major physical and digital retailers and via the outlets below:
Apple Music

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