Nathan East: For the Record

Director: Chris Geo

Cast: Lionel Richie, Sara Bareilles, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds, David Foster, Vince Gill, Herbie Hancock, Al Jarreau, Quincy Jones, Wynonna Judd, Kenny Loggins, Richard Marx, Michael McDonald, Ray Parker Jr.

Rating: 4.5/5

“Nathan East is the most famous person you don’t know you already know” is how Nathan East is described by one of his many musician friends. This description is quite fitting. East has had a career in music for over 35 years and has worked with some of the biggest names in music. As one of the most influential recorded bass player, he has been an instrumental part of creating many of our favorite records for artists such as Phil Collins, Babyface, Chaka Khan, Herbie Hancock, Eric Clapton, Barry White, Sting, and Elton John. Despite the many years of experience, accolades, and immeasurable talent, Nathan East has never produced a solo project. Nathan East: For the Record, screened at the 2016 Reel Indie Film Festival, gives a glimpse into East’s life, his upbringing, and his creative journey to create his new solo album entitled: “Nathan East”.

In the documentary, we see Nathan East playing and recording in the studio, and we get an idea of what his creative process is like. He reveals his vast collection of musical instruments and devices and talks about his collaboration with other artists for his solo album. He likens his new album to a celebration of the music he’s made over the years and people he’s had the privilege to work with.  The artists who appear in the documentary all share their stories of what it is like working with East; they all praise his musical genius and hail him as a versatile, adaptive, and masterful player.

The documentary switches back and forth between the making of the solo album and Nathan’s life story, starting with his love for music as a child and how he got his big break working with Barry White, back in the 80’s. As a youth, East pondered many career options; his love for music led him to launch out and carve a niche for himself in the industry. East is a family man and is close to his immediate and distant relatives. He has always managed to keep his family close despite his busy schedule. East talks about the balance between the personal and professional life and striving for success while always remembering who you are and where you come from.

Nathan East: For the Record is a brilliant documentary that will appeal to anyone who loves music. Nathan has worked with so many artists that he could possibly be the talent behind the unique groovy sounds to some of your favorite tracks. The tale of one man’s hard work, artistry, and rise to success is both fascinating and inspirational. The documentary is highly recommended.

Nekisha M.

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