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Nathan East: You've Been Listening To Him For Years Without Knowing It


Just two years after he'd taken up the bass guitar, sixteen-year-old Nathan East found himself on the road with Barry White. The next time the phone rang, Quincy Jones was on the line. The calls kept coming, and for more than forty years, East has been holding down the bass on hit songs with Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Michael Jackson, Phil Collins, Whitney Houston, Beyoncé, Barbra Streisand, Stevie Wonder, and Daft Punk.

Nathan East is a founding member of the Grammy-nominated contemporary jazz group Fourplay, but his genre-crossing groove remains in high demand everywhere in popular music, from Andrea Bocelli’s Passione to Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories to the soundtrack to Thelma and Louise. He's been a member of Eric Clapton's studio and touring bands since the early 1980s, and is a music producer, songwriter, and magician to boot.

In 2014, he released a solo album, Reverence. About it, East says: “There are only so many hours in the day, but for years, friends have encouraged me to record a solo album. Some for so long they’d given up. However the best music that I’ve made over the years has always been a collaboration with my friends, so I decided it was time to take the plunge.”

(Broadcast: "Musician's Spotlight,"  9/20/18 and 1/3/19. Listen on the radio Thursdays, 7:30 p.m., or via podcast.)

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