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Getting Lucky With 'Daft Funk'

Nathan East's new single is heading north on the smooth jazz charts



    Electric bass hero (and former San Diegan) Nathan East, is capitalizing on the exposure he got from his appearance with Daft Punk on this year's Grammy awards -- priming the commercial potential for his long-awaited solo album, out on March 25, by releasing a YouTube video of the album’s first single, “Daft Funk" -- an obvious reference to the robot-headed dance duo he performed with (and who also took home the Grammy award for Album of the Year).

    The new single finds East paired up with studio-musician legends like guitarist Ray Parker (who composed the infectious theme from “Ghostbusters”), and keyboardist David Paich of the rock band Toto. You can check out the video here

    “Daft Funk” is Billboard’s most added smooth-jazz single of the week. Also appearing on East’s upcoming release are performances by Eric Clapton, Stevie Winwood and other illustrious pop stars.

    I remember East from his days in San Diego when he played in the jazz-funk band Manzanita, a terrific local supergroup with Peter Sprague, Tripp Sprague, Kelly Jacoy, Tommy Aros, Mark Lessman, and Rob Schneiderman.

    Back in those days, East was working on a degree at UCSD – he even turned down an offer to join the band of legendary fusion guitar master John McLaughlin to concentrate on his studies. East’s mentor at the La Jolla campus, contrabass virtuoso Bertram Turetzky, ultimately advised the young musician to head north to the LA studio scene, and the rest, as they say, is history.

     Robert Bush is a freelance jazz writer who has been exploring the San Diego improvised music scene for more than 30 years.