Monday, January 5, 2015

Buy This Album - Nathan East

For my first post of 2015, I would like to very deliberately direct your attention toward someone else.

Nathan East - the master bassist with more than 2,000 album credits to his name and superstar sideman who has performed alongside artists like Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, Phil Collins, Toto, Daft Punk, Quincy Jones, Lionel Richie, & Michael McDonald -  has finally released his very first solo project.

And it's amazing.

There is nothing quite like discovering a truly wonderful album you have no idea even existed, and, thanks to the algorithm driving my Facebook feed, soon after Christmas Nathan's record was brought onto my radar. It remained on my radar for only a few moments, however, as I could not open iTunes fast enough in order to purchase it.

It's worth every penny. Actually, it's worth a lot more than all the pennies you're going to pay for it.

What you're going to get when you buy this record is not only a Grammy-nominated masterwork, but a celebration of the music & career of one of the world's greatest living musicians. Nathan East has been one of popular music's most prolific bassist's for 40 years (he toured with Barry White while he was in high school, wrote & sang "Easy Lover" with Phil Collins, played the classic bass line to "Footloose", and, more recently, made the entire world dance on "Get Lucky"). He is one of the quintessential examples of a musician's musician, and when he announced that he was finally going to create his own record, a legion of the world's greatest players & singers came out of the woodwork to make it with him.

Nathan with Toto on their 35 Anniversary Tour in 2014. (Check the solo at 5:00)
What's more is that Yamaha - the company who's instruments Nathan has endorsed for decades - has produced a documentary film called For The Record chronicling the album making process as well as celebrating the life of one of music's favorite sons. They have released the documentary for free right here on, and I cannot recommend enough that you carve out 90 minutes for yourself and watch it.

(The film also contains a touching memorial to Ricky Lawson, the drumming giant who died last year from a brain aneurysm. Nathan's project was one of the last things Lawson recorded before he passed, and the entire film is dedicated to his memory. I wrote a post about Ricky last year, as well, and it was touching for me to see his musical brothers doing their best to honor him.)

So, if you would like to know what makes a guy like me really geek-out, buy this album and watch this film: wonderful music made by a bunch of true masters in a celebration of one of their own.

(...and the rest of us fangirl all the way home!)

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