From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Background information
GenresSmooth jazz
Years active1991–2017 (indefinite hiatus)
LabelsWarner Bros., Arista/Bluebird, Heads Up
Past members

Fourplay (stylized as 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 Loeb's illness, saxophonist Kirk Whalum joined the group for performances.

The group has enjoyed consistent artistic and commercial success by grafting elements of R&B and pop to jazz, appealing to a broad mainstream audience. Their debut album, Fourplay (1991), sold over a million copies and remained at the number one position on the Billboard contemporary jazz chart for 33 weeks.[4] Their next album, Between the Sheets (1993), reached number one,[4] went gold, and received a Grammy Award nomination. In 1995, their third gold album, Elixir, also reached the number one position and remained on the chart for more than 90 weeks. In 2015 the band celebrated its 25th anniversary with the release of the album Silver with former members Ritenour and Carlton.


Title Label Released
Fourplay Warner Bros. 1991
Fourplay Live: The Authorized Bootleg Warner Bros. 1992
Between the Sheets Warner Bros. 1993
Elixir Warner Bros. 1995
The Best of Fourplay Warner Bros. 1997
4 Warner Bros. 1998
Snowbound Warner Bros. 1999
Yes, Please! Warner Bros. 2000
Heartfelt Bluebird 2002
Journey Bluebird 2004
X Bluebird 2006
Energy Heads Up 2008
Let's Touch the Sky Heads Up 2010
Esprit De Four Heads Up 2012
Silver Heads Up 2015
The Best of Fourplay evosound 2020


  • 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". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  2. ^ Lee Mergner (February 15, 2010). "Larry Carlton Leaving Fourplay". JazzTimes. Archived from the original on November 1, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
  3. ^ Mergner, Lee (1 August 2017). "Chuck Loeb, Guitarist and Composer, Dies at 61 - JazzTimes". JazzTimes. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  4. ^ a b Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). Virgin Books. p. 486. ISBN 1-85227-745-9.

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