Wednesday, Mar 19
Four80East is the brainchild of producers Rob DeBoer and Tony Grace, also known internationally for their indie label/production house, Boomtang. Born in 1997 as a small indie UK release, “The Album” went on to revitalize the Smooth Jazz world the following summer when the first single, “Eastside”, broke through in the US to became the seventh most-played track on Contemporary Jazz radio that year.
Their sound lies at the forefront of what has been called the nu jazz movement – taking the best of contemporary jazz and pop styles and aligning them to produce a improvisational dance-infused sound. This Toronto-based group draws from a variety of sources to make their music happen, including found sounds, field recordings and sound effects alongside their finely crafted studio recordings.
As with many so-called “acid jazz” groups, their music is not clearly defined as smooth jazz or any other type of jazz for that matter. Four80East operates on a plane that expresses their own stylized ability under an umbrella of electrified and funky vibes. They have a pronounced R&B influence that fills in the layers between jazz and soul. Improvisational by nature, their recordings are filled with club-inspired beats, exotic rhythms and soulful melodies, some of which are tied to interwoven vocals. A unique sound that can only be described as “Four80East”.
Contemporary jazz guitarist Matt Marshak taps into the wonderful diversity of music in Colors of Me (Nuance Music Group), shading his classic and fluid style with jazz, blues, rock, pop and even down-home boogie. Marshak's seventh major release follows 2011's highly received Urban Folktales, which captured a sophisticated late-night vibe and boasted a No. 1 song on the 2011 indie jazz chart, "Silent Knowing." It's a busy time for Marshak, who is popular on the tour circuit (Seabreeze, Rehoboth, Hartford Jazz, Low Country, etc.) and finding new audiences with his new, fresh music in a time when it seems the entire music industry is shrinking. Keeping his music evolving in new directions is important to the guitarist.
After his breakthrough in contemporary jazz circles as the 2009 winner of the Capital Jazz Fest Challenge, Marcus Anderson is embracing every opportunity to perform and inspire fans – and most importantly, as the title of his third and latest CD attests, fully living in the NOW. The multi-talented composer, saxophonist and flutist’s original working title was “Transition,” a nod to the powerful ongoing development of his career and his move toward the top tier of contemporary jazz. Anderson realized that the career he had always dreamed of was indeed happening right NOW, and it’s exciting. With the release of NOW, his third solo CD, Anderson’s goal is to capture the energy from his live shows and make this collection of music his most dynamic, joyful and creative recordings yet.