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Four80East: En Route

Someone forgot to tell Four80East that the chill-music love-feast is over in the U.S. Thank God, because the band’s first CD in four years is state-of-the-art instrumental music that’s intelligent, sophisticated and stuffed with surprises-and suitably chillish. Just the thing that might tempt smooth-jazz radio to once again put the producer-based, European-flavored music with bass-heavy grooves back into its mix.

Four80East is led by Toronto-based musicians Rob DeBoer (piano, guitar, bass, programming) and Tony Grace (drums, programming), who 10 years ago introduced their addictive sound to smooth jazz audiences through the hit single “Eastside.” That CD, The Album, and their third, Round 3, were high-energy outputs while their second, Nocturnal, was dreamily downtempo in spirit. En Route combines the best of the three and adds a touch of jazz and cinematic sweep. The result is thrilling.

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