Down Beat - 9/96, p.543 Stars
- Good - "...What is most certainly obvious and arresting about B Sharp is the tightness of the ensemble...the collective ear that keeps them on the same page..."
Option - 3-4/96, p.93
"...these guys sound like an old Blue Note session, but edgier and with more enthusiasm..."
B Sharp Jazz Quartet: Randall Willis (vocals, tenor & soprano saxophones, shaker, sleigh bells); Rodney Lee (vocals, piano, B-3 organ); Reggie Carson (vocals, bass); Herb Graham, Jr. (vocals, drums, shaker, sleigh bells).
Additional personnel: Carmen Bradford (vocals, shaker, bells); Eric McKain (percussion).
Engineers: Rich Breen (tracks 1-4, 6-9); Charlie Bouis (track 5).
Principally recorded on June 3-4, 1995.
All songs written by members of the B Sharp Quartet except "Inner Urge" (Joe Henderson) and "Intrepid Fox" (Freddie Hubbard).
Personnel: Rodney Lee (vocals, piano, organ); Carmen Bradford (vocals, shaker, sleigh bell); Reggie Carson (vocals); Randall Willis (soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, shaker, sleigh bell); Herb Graham, Jr. (drums, shaker, sleigh bell); Eric McKain (percussion).
Audio Mixers: Rich Breen ; Charlie Bouis.
Recording information: The Milargo Sound Records.
Photographer: Rudi Weislein.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Reggie Carson; Herb Graham, Jr.; Rodney Lee.
Arrangers: Reggie Carson; Herb Graham, Jr.; Rodney Lee.
The second recording by the B Sharp Jazz Quartet, one of the more creative, regularly working jazz units based in Los Angeles, is as interesting for its departures as for the bulk of its performances. Three of the nine selections are a bit unusual. On "The Velvet Touch" guest singer Carmen Bradford vocalizes wordlessly and matches wits quite favorably with the tenor of Randall Willis. Joe Henderson's "Inner Urge" is given a light funk rhythm along with some atmospheric organ from Rodney Lee and, although it does not live up to its potential, it hints at possible innovations. Also, the closing "C.R.S." has an African-flavored group vocal by the band along with Carmen Bradford. Otherwise, the music is more conventional. Best are the driving "Beside Jo'self," "Mirage," and Freddie Hubbard's "Intrepid Fox." In contrast, "Spirit Of J.C." is a disappointment, lacking the passion one would expect from a song with its title. In general, this is an excellent session even though some of the music sounds as if the B Sharp Jazz Quartet (which also includes drummer Herb Graham Jr. and bassist Reggie Carson) is treading water a bit. ~ Scott Yanow