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Bob James Jazzmen jazz music.jpg
Bob James, founding member of Fourplay
Background information
Genres Smooth jazz
Years active 1991–present
Labels Warner Bros.
Heads Up
Past members

Fourplay is a contemporary American smooth jazz quartet. The original members of the group were Bob James (keyboards), Lee Ritenour (guitars), Nathan East (bass), and Harvey Mason (drums).[1] In 1997, Lee Ritenour left the group and Fourplay chose Larry Carlton as his replacement. In 2010, Larry Carlton left Fourplay and was replaced by Chuck Loeb,[2] who died on July 31, 2017[3]. During Chuck Loeb's illness, Grammy-award-winning saxophonist Kirk Whalum joined Fourplay, and has remained with the band following Chuck Loeb's death.

Grammy-nominated supergroup Fourplay has enjoyed consistent artistic and commercial success by grafting elements of R&B and pop to jazz, appealing to a broad mainstream audience.

Their first record, 1991's Fourplay, sold over a million copies and remained at the number one position on the Billboard contemporary jazz chart for 33 weeks. Their next LP, 1993's Between the Sheets, reached number one, went gold, and received a Grammy nomination. In 1995, their third gold album, Elixir, also reached the number one position and remained on the chart for more than 90 weeks. The band celebrated its 25th anniversary with the release of the album Silver in 2015, which featured former members Ritenour and Carlton as guest artists.



Title Released Label
Fourplay 1991 Warner Bros.
Between the Sheets 1993 Warner Bros.
Elixir 1995 Warner Bros.
The Best of Fourplay 1997 Warner Bros.
4 1998 Warner Bros.
Snowbound 1999 Warner Bros.
Yes, Please! 2000 Warner Bros.
Heartfelt 2002 Bluebird
Journey 2004 Bluebird
X 2006 Bluebird
Energy 2008 Heads Up
Let's Touch the Sky 2010 Heads Up
Esprit de Four 2012 Heads Up
Silver 2015 Heads Up


  • An Evening of Fourplay: Volumes I and II (1994)
  • Live in Cape Town (2005)
  • Live at San Javier Jazz Festival (2006)



  1. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Fourplay: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-11-09. 
  2. ^ Lee Mergner (February 15, 2010). "Larry Carlton Leaving Fourplay". JazzTimes. Retrieved September 8, 2011. 
  3. ^

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