Personnel: Dan Balmer (guitar); Mike York, Michael Bard (saxophone); Laine Larson, Richard Cooper (trumpet); Jeff Uusitalo (trombone); The Portland Horns (horns); George Mitchell (organ); Tom Grant (keyboards, programming); Glen Holstrom (keyboards); Carlton Jackson (drums); Tony LSH, Tony Lash (programming).
Listening to Becoming Became, it's apparent that Dan Balmer wanted to record something commercial, yet maintain his dignity. And for the most part, he accomplished that goal on a pop-jazz disc that isn't fantastic but is generally pleasant. The Pat Metheny Group is a prominent influence, although the guitarist also hints at the more commercial efforts of Lee Ritenour and George Benson. Balmer doesn't dig into this material as enthusiastically as he does the standards heard on his organ-trio date Don't Forget the Way Home (arguably his best album), but he does get in some nice spots on material ranging from the moody "Wish You Were Here" and the R&B-flavored "The Hard Way" to the very Metheny-ish "Oregon." Although Don't Forget the Way Home would be a wiser purchase, Becoming Became isn't anything to be ashamed of. ~ Alex Henderson