The name Beaux J Poo Boo comes from a Les McCann composition which means just about the same thing as the title of this album. Many things go into the makeup of a veteran jazz quartet, and each member brings something new to the microphone. Here, we have a swinging guitarist who interprets lyrical phrases with clarity, a powerful pianist who adds intensity everywhere he travels, a rock-solid bassist who provides the quartet's rhythmic foundation, and a colorful drummer who adds textural variety.
Fred Hamilton's "Dancing with Monk" drives straight ahead with liberal quotes from Monk's music. Lou Fischer's "Scintilla" waltzes slowly with a heartfelt charm that weeps with passionate overtones. Shelly Berg's "Go with Godfrey" romps up-tempo with the kind of driving force that whisks you away to some uncharted isle. Les McCann's "Beaux J Poo Boo" reaches out soulfully with deep feeling as the quartet identifies its sound with the lyricism oozing from this saucy piece.
The remainder of the program, however, can't compare to what Beaux J Poo Boo has accomplished with Les McCann's opus. The quartet's other interpretations, while wholesome and clearly straight-ahead in scope; fail to capture the heartfelt release that emanates from this one piece.
Personnel: Shelly Berg: piano; Fred Hamilton: guitar; Lou Fischer: bass; Steve Houghton: drums.