Last year’s loss is this year’s gain.
Fourplay, one of the genre’s best-ever contemporary jazz bands, originally was scheduled to perform in the 2016 Boscov’s Berks Jazz Fest as presented by Berks Arts Council until a family illness derailed its 25th Anniversary Tour.
Fortunately, Fourplay now is bringing its extended silver anniversary tour to the 2017 Berks Jazz Fest on Saturday, April 1, at 7 p.m. at the Santander Performing Arts Center in downtown Reading.
For over a quarter century, the legend of this seminal group has grown as it always is pushing the idiom forward in both its jazz and pop directions.
Fourplay maintains its mastery with modern touches and classic musicianship. Its beautiful arrangements and tasty licks have made the quartet world renowned.
Exploring the limitless possibilities of jazz has allowed the quartet to evolve musically, drawing elements from a wide range of styles to hone its own unique, innovative and uncompromising sound.
Fourplay features the immense talents of bassist Nathan East, keyboardist Bob James, guitarist Chuck Loeb and drummer Harvey Mason.
It truly is remarkable for a collective of such accomplished musicians to stick together for such a duration and continue to explore together. Jazz ensembles usually have nowhere near that shelf life.
It is the musical exploration that keeps the journey going as Fourplay continues to be one of the most intuitive, forward-thinking and focused groups in modern jazz.
As a collective group, they inspire and push each other, not only in the studio but also out on the road playing. Each of the band members brings something to the table, which pushes all of them to improve their game.
Fourplay celebrated its 25th anniversary with its aptly named stylistically eclectic studio album Silver, which brilliantly showcases the group’s evocative sound — the flowing funk undertones of Mason and East on drums and bass, respectively; the wonderful keyboard work of James; and the remarkable guitar musicianship of Loeb as well as Fourplay alumni Larry Carlton and Lee Ritenour.