Berks Jazz Fest 2013: Fourplay & Lalah Hathaway

At 7pm Sunday night at the Sovereign Performing Arts Center, it was time to witness the beauty and perfection of super group Fourplay, featuring Bob James on piano, Nathan East on bass & vocals, Chuck Loeb on guitar and Harvey Mason on drums, plus special guest Lalah Hathaway on vocals. Despite their lengthy careers, they still kept the sparkle, they opened their show with "December Dream" that featured the voice of Nathan East and some nice piano playing by Bob James, this song was written by newest member Chuck Loeb and garnered them a Grammy nomination, followed by the groovy "Max-O-Man" that had Chuck Loeb smoking on the guitar, then "Chant" written by Bob James. They did their tribute to Hank Jones called "Gentle Giant" featuring some trademark Bob James piano playing, followed by their current single from the Esprit De Four album called "Sunnymoon". Then it was time to have special guest Lalah Hathaway enter the stage, she sang a jazzy version of the Gershwin classic "Summertime" in her inimitable style, then "For All We Know" - a tribute to her father Donny Hathaway - before a highlight from the Fourplay catalog in the form of "Between The Sheets" was due, featuring the vocals of both Nathan East and Lalah Hathaway. The pace picked up with another funky song, showing the virtuosity of all players, before the signature song "101 Eastbound" was done. They finished their show with Lalah Hathaway back, doing the Marvin Gaye classic "After The Dance", they came back for an encore, the much revered "Westchester Lady" that gave each member of the band an opportunity to shine. This was another flawless show by those great players, it was nice to see that Chuck Loeb now firmly has become a Fourplay member, having earned his rank in this super group with his excellent contributions as a composer and instrumentalist.