Quartet To Perform At 50th GRAMMY Awards After-Show Party On February 10th
Heads Up International, one of the world’s premier crossover jazz labels and a division of the Concord Music Group, today announced the signing of an exclusive recording agreement with Fourplay, the innovative quartet that has maintained a consistent presence on the cutting edge of contemporary jazz since their inception more than 15 years ago. Fourplay will make their Heads Up debut with a yet-to-be-titled album scheduled for release in summer 2008.
The band is scheduled to perform at an after-show party following the Grammy® Award ceremonies at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on “Grammy® Sunday,” February 10, 2008. Fourplay’s after-show performance is scheduled for the Jazz Lounge in the west hall of the Staples Center.
Fourplay, whose current lineup consists of keyboardist Bob James, bassist Nathan East, guitarist Larry Carlton and drummer Harvey Mason, has enjoyed consistent artistic and commercial success by grafting elements of R&B and pop to their unwavering jazz foundations. In a span of seventeen years and ten albums, the quartet has continued to explore the limitless dimensions and permutations of jazz while at the same time appealing to a broad mainstream audience.
“Fourplay has been a formidable and high-profile entity in contemporary jazz for almost two decades, with a track record of musical innovation that speaks for itself,” says Dave Love, President of Heads Up International. “Each artist in the band’s lineup is an immense talent in his own right, but the synergy of all four players adds up to an even greater whole. We’re very excited to have them on the Heads Up roster, and we’re very much looking forward to a great record this year.
Bob James, a founding member of the group, echoes Love’s optimism for a prolific partnership between band and label. “We’re very happy with the enthusiasm that’s been demonstrated by the Heads Up team,” says James. “It’s up to us now as a band to create music that will justify the excitement that everyone is feeling about this partnership. That’s a challenge that we take very seriously, but it’s a challenge that we welcome with every new record we make.”
Nathan East sees independent labels like Heads Up as the place to be, given the current record industry climate. “While the major labels are trying to keep the ‘record business’ alive, the indies are doing a better job at keeping the ‘music business’ alive. The independents seem to be able to offer a more hands-on approach than the majors, which is definitely a benefit to the artist.”
Harvey Mason agrees that the industry has entered an era where joining an independent label is a smart move: “Fourplay is very excited about the fresh opportunities that abound in these transitional times in the music industry,” he says. “We look forward to partnering with Heads Up as a means to build on the Fourplay brand which has proudly existed for twenty years.”
While the exact direction of Fourplay’s Heads Up debut has yet to be determined, Larry Carlton promises that the band’s maiden voyage with the label “will be a continuation in the growth of the Fourplay sound. We look forward to delivering the next chapter in the Fourplay story and having Heads Up deliver it to the world.”
“We’ve set a high standard for ourselves in almost two decades of making records together as Fourplay,” says East. “I look forward to making an adventurous, classy and soul-filled record that showcases our talents individually and collectively. Until the last note is played, it’s hard to predict the exact direction. That’s what we love about jazz – the improvisation that happens in the moment. That’s a concept that Heads Up completely understands.”