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Toronto, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 1997 | INDIE

Toronto, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 1997
Band Jazz Electronic


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Four80East - Positraction"

Solidly in the driver’s seat of their own musical destiny, Four80East is in one of the most comfortable positions in c-jazz as it continues to explore the edges of the genre and redefine what is truly adventurous. Never a pair of artists to dissatisfy, that trend continues here with this creative release. - The Smooth Jazz Ride

"Four80East - Off Duty"

Four80East has been tantalizing and satisfying our taste for “outside the box” jazz for about 15 years now. It’s probably quite easy to classify their style as being that of acid jazz–and you’d probably be more accurate than not—but who cares? Whatever it is they bring to the table, it usually works. Using every means at their disposal to arrive at the unique sound and quality that is their signature has truly served them well, and this album is no different. - The Smooth Jazz Ride

"Four80East - En Route"

En Route rolls like a classic chill out collection with a lot of cool influences beyond the typical urban sounds that define smooth jazz today. - Jonathan Widran, Jazz Monthly

"Smooth Jazz Favors A Hearty Lunch"

Four80East returns with the delicious, soul-nourishing "Noodle Soup," its melodic, groove-laden label debut for Native Language Music that is destined to be a programming and listener favorite...

-Carol Archer - Radios and Records

"Four80East - En Route"

It says a lot about a band’s creative uniqueness when the hybrid style of music they play defies easy genre categorization the way the melodies and grooves of Four80East do. In the late 90s, when veteran Toronto based remixers Tony Grace and Rob DeBoer (collectively known on their pop projects as Boomtang) recorded their first loose, improvisational jazz/dance project The Album, it fit perfectly into the then-flourishing acid jazz movement. When the duo—whose instrumental side projects were billed under the moniker Four80East—recorded Nocturnal (2001) and Round 3 (2002) for Higher Octave, the chill music phenomenon was taking off, so it seemed appropriate to put their music in that pocket. As their albums became more popular, a few new expressions were coined, “trip-jazz” and “Nu Jazz.” DeBoer responds to all those attempts to pigeonhole the Four80East vibe by saying, “the beauty of what we do is that the boundaries we’ve established are fairly broad. With each song, we only need to answer the question, ‘Does it sound like a Four80East song?’”

The ongoing flow of seductive and often thumping rhythms, trippy and unexpected sound effects and jangling electric guitar and piano riffs on the duo’s Native Language debut makes En Route the perfect title for the collection. The overall feeling of the 11 tracks is cool, ambient and downtempo, with one bright exception that smooth jazz fans in Canada have already made a success: “Noodle Soup,” which rolls like hypnotic, easy grooving jazzy disco for people way too young and cool to still have their platform shoes. On this track, which is up this month for Best Original Song at the Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards, the duo’s old school soul and jazz influences are front and center with DeBoer’s crisp electric guitar and dancing piano chords and riffs jumping playfully over Grace’s hypnotic beats.

Beyond that, En Route rolls like a classic chill out collection with a lot of cool influences beyond the typical urban sounds that define smooth jazz today. “Five By Five” swirls spacey mystical effects, crunchy electronica and a simmering blues keyboard flavor. “The Drop” lives up to its name, heading into hypnotic darkness with bursts of avant garde, distorted electric guitar. “Double Down” textures an insistent, ringing high hat jazz fusion groove with dark toned guitar and organ riffs, and includes a smoky tenor solo by Jon Stewart; Stewart also adds a radio friendly melodic solo to the easy grooving, mostly guitar driven and traditionally urban flavored “Been Too Long.”

En Route’s next stop is the cool and sexy “Closer,” which mixes trippy effects with a passionate sax melody and the dreamy “hey hey” vocals of Divine Brown. The bounce picks up big time on the next two tracks, the densely percussive, fun spirited jazz jam title track and the punchy, funky electronica piece “51 Division” (which combines cool guitar and sax jazz licks with “out there” scratchy touches). Chris Botti fans will connect well with the next downtempo tune, the moody “Don’t Look Back” (featuring the trumpet of Bryden Baird) while “Easy Come, Easy Go” is a haunting electronic soundscape (with touches of piano and guitar) that keeps the soothing relaxation vibe going. Four80East wraps En Route with the soulful, laid back and hypnotic electro-jazz (with equal doses of jazzy piano and odd synth effects) of “Waterline.”

Because Grace and DeBoer have lucrative day jobs as award winning remixers and producers, Four80East is more or less an important creative outlet they get to when they have time. Projects like the irresistible and multi-faceted En Route will make longtime fans and new listeners alike hope that there are more lulls in their regular schedule in the years to come. Their vibe is just too cool and essential to wait five years for between recordings.

-Jonathan Widran -

"Four80East - En Route"

Someone forgot to tell Four80East that the chill music experiment is apparently over in the United States. Good thing, too, because the band's first CD in four years is a state-of-the-art instrumental music that's intelligent, sophisticated and filled with surprises-and suitably chillish. Just the thing that might tempt smooth jazz radio to once again ass the producer-based, European-flavored music with bass-heavy grooves back into its mix.

Four80East is lead 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", from The Album. That CD, an their third, were high-energy affairs while their second, Nocturnal, was dreamily downtempo in spirit. En Route combines the best of both works and adds a touch of jazz and cinematic sweep. The result is thrilling.

If you only listen to one song on En Route (by using the download option) make sure it's "51 Division," as it encompasses the group's ideal sound with its thick bass,, crackling synth loop and Jon Stewart's very jazzy sax. But don't stop there. "Noodle Soup," the first single, co-ops an "Eastside"-like disco bass and jumps off into flute, guitar and piano solos. "The Drop" sounds like it's coming from a slasher movie and offers some crunchy guitar lines.

"Double Down" is the jazziest track here, with it's easy, shuffling drum patterns and guitar-and0sax tradeoffs. Contemporary jazz excursions are also paraded about with DeBoer's funky, Jeff Lorber-like keys on "Been Too Long" and the rapid guitar fretwork of the title track. The very smooth "Waterline" closes the CD with pretty acoustic piano and guitar playing.

Stimulating and progressive, En Route is the kind of CD you want to play very loud.

-Brian Soergel - Smooth Jazz News

"Four80East - En Route"

‘En Route’ is the latest CD from Toronto-based studio creation Four80East. The band originally emerged as a cool, creative side project of remix producers Tony Grace and Rob DeBoer with its inspiration taken from the acid jazz movement that flourished in the United Kingdom during the 90’s. With a sound geared towards an improvisational dance vibe Four80East earned considerable airplay in both the United States and the UK with its 1997 debut CD ‘The Album’. ‘Nocturnal’ followed in 2001 and although ‘Round 3’ was released a year later it has taken almost five more years for ‘En Route’ to come to fruition. Over this time chill music, an intrinsic part of what Four80East is all about, has established itself as a genre in its own right and this evolution means that the music of Four80East, a rare blend of chill, acid jazz and fusion, is perhaps now more relevant than ever before.

The sound of Four80East is built around DeBoer on keyboards, bass, guitar and programming with Grace on programming and percussion. Its DeBoer’s guitar that blends with the cool trumpet of Bryden Baird for the chilled out ‘Don’t Look Back’ and when DeBoer adds synthesizer for the darkly moody ‘The Drop’ he is joined by the excellent Jon Stewart on tenor sax. This shadowy vibe remains on the agenda for the deconstructed ‘Double Down’. Experimental in a straight ahead sort of a way it features more jazzy playing from Jon Stewart and although ‘Been Too Long’ starts out in the same languid vein DeBoer, first with acid tinged keys then with groove driven guitar, engenders a considerable funky urgency.

Four80East’s acid roots are well on show with ‘Five By Five’. Beginning in a mellow groove driven haze it evolves into something decidedly more intense and it’s the blues that collide with acid jazz in the best possible way on the interesting ‘Easy Come Easy Go’ DeBoer on piano is just right while horns from Stewart and Baird add a whole new dimension.

The atmospheric ‘Waterline’, with a big beat paired with a gentle melody, is maybe the best example of pure chill on the entire album and when for the title track Four80East take it up a notch, the result is a slice of acid tinged rhythm and groove of the highest order. Just as good is the infectious ‘51 Division’. With Jon Stewart again huge on sax the whole track is driven relentlessly on by DeBoer’s guitar and keyboards.

The first single from ‘En Route’ is the thumping and hypnotic ‘Noodle Soup’. Here, with DeBoer’s jazzy guitar and piano riffs jangling playfully over Grace’s irrepressible beats, Four80East’s old school soul and jazz influences are everywhere. The track has already earned a nomination for Best Original Song at the Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards and is a contender for best track on the album. However, right up there with it is the wonderful ‘Closer’. With an aura all its own, mellow haunting guitar and sexy wordless vocals, this is where chill meets seduction to terrific effect.

‘En Route’ is special in that it seamlessly blends contemporary jazz, chill, acid and a little soul too. It hits record stores across the USA on April 24 and is sure to redefine the genre. -

"Four80East - En Route"

Toronto-based acid-jazz group Four80East have collected a slew of well-arranged grooves that will get wax heads their required fix for the evening. And hell the ‘90’s happened. “En Route” shrugs the shoulder off of that past and lets true danceheads like us settle in for a good night’s rhythm or three. Blessed with gifted production and nifty nods to funk, future jazz, and soul, Four80East is pretty much the dance equivalent of Jamiroquai.

- J-Sin -

"Four80East - En Route"

With a name like Four80East, there’s not much guesswork in what to expect from the Toronto-based groove oriented band. Just imagine hitting the open road with no particular destination in mind and you got yourself one heck of a Four80East experience. En Route caught my attention with its unpredictable UK-ish, bass-heavy, and groove oriented dance vibe. Noodle Soup, for instance, possesses the kind of light-hearted feel-good mood one might have when everything just goes right all day. En Route not only holds your attention with its collection of jazzed futuristic sounds, neatly wrapped into a blanket of adventure, but it can also live gently in the background, lying dormant until called forth by taking center stage. - Abyss Jazz Magazine

"Four80East - En Route"

From Toronto comes one of the hottest duos in the world… multi-instrumentalists Rob DeBoer and Tony Grace… otherwise known as Four80East. With their brand new, absolutely astounding release EN ROUTE, DeBoer and Grace are positioned to blow you away with their Native Language debut. Not kidding here… whether producing or remixing for other music superstars, recording and performing hit pop tunes as The Boomtang Boys (another of their alter-egos), or as nu jazz cats creating fun groove/chillout/fusion projects, they’re remarkable. EN ROUTE is their fourth project as Four80East, a band which also includes Jon Stewart on tenor sax and Bryden Baird on trumpet. It’s actually their first album in five years (where does the time go?) and it is 100% pure enjoyment! The Four80East sound is perhaps even more relevant today than before, at a time when “fresh” is something that we all seek from our music. The first radio hit, “Noodle Soup,” is killer and rapidly on the move up the charts… it’s earned a nomination for Best Original Song at the Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards. But there’s more, so much more aural candy to feast upon here. From the enticingly chilled “Waterline” to the evocative “Closer” to the energetic title track, Four80East’s EN ROUTE is a seductive soiree of contemporary jazz, chill, groove, lounge, funk and soul that will give you cause to move your body and exercise your mind at the same time. You are ‘en route’ to rediscover just how splendid instrumental music can sound!


"Four80East - En Route"

Internal debates have historically been a double-edged sword for jazz. Too often, we have argued about classification issues rather than growing the music in general. However, those debates have the benefit of sharpening our thinking on the music and fueling our passion for it. Here’s another such opportunity for debate: Four80East. Although some reviews give them the dreaded “smooth jazz” tag, they are much more in the trip tradition of St. Germain, which comparison would only intensify the reservations of some jazz purists. So be it, but for those receptive to their club-friendly grooves, En Route will go down well.

Four80East is the augmented duo of keyboardist/bassist Rob DeBoer and drummer Tony Grace. As both take programming credits on the CD, clearly a great deal of studio work went into En Route, but there is some legit instrumental work in the mix as well. It starts out with an almost ominous intro to “Five By Five,” that echoes “Come Together” before sliding into the kind groove that is the group’s specialty, with Jon Stewart’s tenor lending some flavor.

Some of the tracks, like “The Drop,” have an action soundtrack vibe, giving the album a darker, driving quality not typically associated with smooth sounds. “Double Down” follows, continuing the moody ambience, lightened by more tenor work from Stewart.

For a group like Four80East, over-production is going to be a temptation, as on “Closer,” which features some background vocals that were a mistake. “Noodle Soup,” the designated single, also sounds a bit too synth-pop. Overall though, there is a good vibe to En Route, like the late-night blues feel of “Easy Come, Easy Go,” with some nicely appropriate keyboard work from DeBoer.

There are certainly mellow tracks as well, like the dreamy soundscape of “Don’t Look Back” that takes advantage of Bryden Baird’s muted trumpet. “Waterline” is the happy closer that flirts with being saccharine (maybe crossing the border), but has undeniably strong melodic hooks.

As a groove-heavy album, En Route works more often than not. Send me nasty e-mail if you feel I’ve debased jazz in recommending it. Yes, sometimes the drumbeats are too mechanical. However, jazz needs more strong sellers in category, not just to get people into our section in the superstores, but to keep those very sections, such as they are. Four80East has real commercial potential, without dumbing things down. Can they play for our team?

-J.B. -

"Four80East - The Album"

Destined to be the sound of the summer. this album is set to tear up the jazz scene. - JazzFM UK


Positraction - 2015

Four80East LIVE - 2014 (Live album)

Off Duty - 2012

Roll On - 2009

En Route - 2007

Round Three - 2002

Nocturnal - 2001

The Album - 1997



Four80East is an electro-jazz collective that’s all about the groove. Mixing jazz with soul music and electronic production, the Canadian producer duo of Rob DeBoer and Tony Grace have created a signature bass-propelled sound that entrances listeners of their recordings and enthralls audiences at their live shows.

Since breaking out with their critically acclaimed first release “The Album,” in 1997, Four80East has been a mainstay on contemporary jazz radio and touring circuits with hits like “Eastside” and “Noodle Soup” and five subsequent albums.

Although the “band” was born as a studio project, DeBoer and Grace have been able to transform their layered and captivating sonic productions into a high-energy live show with the help of many world class session musicians who join them on stage. DeBoer, a multi-instrumentalist who plays keyboards, guitar and bass, fronts the band on their live performances.

As a production team and as artists, DeBoer and Grace have had global success. They’ve won every major music award in their native Canada from a Juno to a MuchMusic Award to a Canadian Radio Music Award. Internationally, they’ve achieved commercial success and received critical accolades for their work as remixers, label owners, producers, and artists in the genres of R&B, jazz and dance. They’ve also migrated their talents to film and TV as composers for hit shows, films and commercials.

For 20 years as producers and songwriters and almost as long as Four80East, they’ve reinvented themselves time and time again. Whether pushing the boundaries of musical integration on their recordings or filling the dance floor at their concerts, Four80East is continually putting their unique twist on contemporary jazz’s sound and style. For them music is all about being fresh and exciting and, most importantly, all about the groove.

Band Members