Friday, September 18, 2015

Bob James and Nathan East Are 'The New Cool'

The pair’s first duo album is released boding to top the national charts fueled by robust sales, enthusiastic critical buzz and abundant airplay.

Nashville, Tennessee (18 September 2015): 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 & MusiciansDownBeatJazziz 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 ClaptonPhil CollinsWhitney HoustonMichael JacksonGeorge HarrisonStevie Wonder and BeyoncĂ©.       

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:  

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