The Kong Show chats with Nathan East


In our backseat of a Tokyo taxi interview, world renowned bassist Nathan East introduces us to a few songs from his newest solo CD titled “REVERENCE.” Within the 14 songs on this CD, Nathan calls on the talents of such superstars as Eric Clapton, Phil Collins and Earth Wind & Fire as he covers songs like “Serpentine Fire,” “Love’s Holiday,” Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground” and Herbie Hancock’s “Cantaloupe Island,” to name but a few.

Nathan was recently in Tokyo for two days to put on four shows at Tokyo’s Billboard Live with his band of brothers, which included Tokyo’s “go-to” keyboardist Kaleb James and Japanese singers Sato Chikuzen and Ayaka Hirahara. His free time in Tokyo was extremely limited, but he offered to do this interview in the backseat of a taxi on his way from InterFM to his concert site at Billboard Live in Tokyo Midtown.

Along the way, he also reminded us about his performances at the White House for former President Barack Obama and answered our question about the possibility of him performing for President Donald Trump. And speaking of POTUS, with his permission, I made this mash-up of Nathan’s bass line from “America the Beautiful” together with the Presidents’ speech:

A little more you should know about Nathan is that he’s an American jazz, R&B and rock bass player and vocalist who was born in 1955 in Philadelphia, Pa. Throughout his career, he has made more than 2,000 recordings which makes him one of the most recorded bass players in the history of music.

East is a founding member of the contemporary jazz quartet Fourplay and has recorded, performed and co-written songs with top-ranked performers such as Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, Joe Satriani, George Harrison, Phil Collins, Stevie Wonder, Toto, Daft Punk, Sting, Quincy Jones, Barry White, Bryan Ferry, B.B. King, Elton John, Babyface, Kenny Loggins, Manhattan Transfer, Savage Garden, Al Jarreau and Herbie Hancock, to name but a few.

In 2013, he recorded the bass line of the hit song “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk, which won the Grammies for Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. And, “Get Lucky” was lucky indeed for Nathan as it sold more than 7.5 million copies. Additionally, he also composed the music for the #1 hit song “Easy Lover” for Phil Collins and Philip Bailey of Earth Wind & Fire.

Prior to his current solo album, he released another self-titled solo album in 2014 on the Yamaha Entertainment Group label which included guest appearances by Michael McDonald, Sara Bareilles, Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton, Japan’s Kazumasa Oda, Bob James, Chuck Loeb, Ray Parker Jr. David Paich (Toto) and his 16-year-old son (then 13) Noah East. Back then, we did an in-depth interview with him about the release of that album back then, and it can still be heard at this link:

As if all this were not enough, Nathan is also credited on numerous movie soundtracks including "Dreamgirls," "Hairspray," "Tarzan," "Waiting to Exhale," "The Last Temptation of Christ," "Lethal Weapon 2," "Lethal Weapon 3," "Brewster's Millions," "Thelma & Louise" and "Footloose."

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I loved his Between the Sheets video with Chaka Khan

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Great interview. Thanks Kong.

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He also holds done the low end for the Rolling Stones for quite a while now, an awesome all round player for sure!!

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