Four 80 East
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”.