Personnel: Pharez Whitted (trumpet); Bobby Broom (guitar); Eddie Bayard (soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); Ron Perrillo (piano, keyboards); Greg Artry (drums).
Audio Mixer: Gary Mielke.
Recording information: Sound Mine Studio, Chicago, IL (01/09/2012-01/11/2012).
Chicago native Pharez Whitted may not have garnered the attention of New York-based trumpeters, but he has built an impressive career over several decades. For the People features his working band (saxophonist Eddie Bayard, guitarist Bobby Broom, pianist Ron Perrillo, bassist Dennis Carroll, and drummer Greg Artry), playing his compositions. "Watusi Boogaloo" is a perfect opener, as Whitted develops a hip groove and features the entire band. Bayard switches to soprano sax for the powerful yet relaxing "If They Could Only See," featuring the leader's brief yet effective solo. Perrillo moves to electric piano for the funky "Another Kind of Blues," a sassy number with tight unison lines. Whitted's muted horn and Broom's spacious guitar make up the centerpiece of the subdued ballad "For the People." The brisk "Keep the Faith" has a brisk urban groove, set up with an energetic vamp and featuring a burning tenor sax solo by Bayard in addition to Broom's intricate bop flight. Pharez Whitted's For the People is a feast for the ears. ~ Ken Dryden