With recording, performance and co-writing credits as varied as Eric Clapton, Babyface, Al Jarreau and Phil Collins, Nathan East has deservedly gained a reputation as much for musical versatility as his profound skills on bass. Few players are in more constant demand.
Nathan East was born in Philadelphia in 1955, but made his home on the West Coast, in San Diego, when his family moved to California when he was four. He later gained a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Music from the University of California there. After first learning the cello, which he played in his Junior High school orchestra, Nathan took up the bass when he was 14, gaining a grounding in many musical styles through playing with everything from jazz ensembles, marching bands, choirs and pop-covers bands. Among early jazz influences and inspirations he cites upright bassist Ray Brown, Charlie Mingus, Wes Montgomery and Cannonball Adderley, but also namechecks rock-blues giants such as Jimi Hendrix and Santana.
Over the years, Nathan has performed, recorded and co-written with a host of top artists, not least Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, Elton John, Whitney Houston and Quincy Jones. One of his most widely known credits was co-writing the 1984 number-one hit 'Easy Lover' with Phil Collins and Philip Bailey, and he has occupied the bass slot with Phil Collins' band for many years.
Outside his busy schedule of working with other artists, Nathan was a co-founder of the jazz-fusion group Fourplay, in partnership with keyboardist Bob James, drummer Harvey Mason and guitarist Lee Ritenour. Some of their albums have been nominated for Grammy Awards and are high sellers in the contemporary jazz field. In his leisure time, Nathan is a keen skier and tennis player and holds a private pilot's licence.