Soprano, alto, and tenor saxophonist Charles Langford definitely takes his cues from the Grover Washington, Jr. school of contemporary jazz 30 years after the fact, playing a very predictable brand of music that urbanites can enjoy. This collection of originals is all derived from Washington in that they own a similar beat, lack of jazz swing or invention, and lay lazily upon strict, simplistic melodic scales and tonic tunings that create no threats or confrontational ideas. Co-producer and drummer Jimmy "Junebug" Jackson keeps things solidly in a 4/4 groove with little variance or challenge, while the rest of the band plays along willingly and happily. It's a clockwork, safe, but pleasant tenor sax-led version of Bobby Hebb's "Sunny" that kicks off the set, followed by six compositions by Langford. "Someone 2 Luv" sports a basic alto sax stairstep ascent and descent, while "Mary's Mood" and "Lost" has Langford switching back to tenor, the former a straight funk number with more energy and trite fingerpopping electric bass guitar, the latter a slow, deliberate ballad driven by the fine piano of Frank Wilkins, with Langford's horn in an upper register. The title track, with the leader's soprano sax, employs a slightly more complex melody alongside Chip Crawford's electric piano, soprano and flute is overdubbed on the swaying, Latin-flavored but ultimately syrupy "For Cathy," and "Chucky's Funk" is an obvious party tune. A background vocal group is used on two tracks, but there are no lead vocals to speak of. While Langford is a competent musician, there's very little to distinguish him from anybody else. Hopefully, this good musician will play better music next time around.
That's Wassup Review
by Michael G. Nastos