Beaux J Poo Boo is a quartet featuring four veteran musicians (pianist Shelly Berg, guitarist Fred Hamilton, bassist Lou Fischer, and drummer Steve Haughton) who are also well known for their contributions to jazz education. The diverse background that each player brings to the date is reflected in his performance, especially in the funky, gospel-inflected cut (penned by Les McCann) that inspired the group's unusual name. The opening blues, "Ferris Wheel" (written by Rick Margitza, a saxophonist deserving of wider recognition), is a real cooker featuring effective solos by Berg, Fischer, and Hamilton. "Tooth," Berg's touching waltz-time salute to the late Frank Mantooth, is a gorgeous waltz that has an undercurrent of anguish. Hamilton's "Dancing with Monk" is a hard bop cooker that ignites the band. They also deliver with a slowly savored interpretation of Benny Carter's "Only Trust Your Heart" (featuring Fischer's warm arco bass).
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden