|“…an accessible yet provocative blend of funk and soul jazz with tropical rhythms.”
Joel Roberts – All About Jazz NY
“…reveals yet another dimension of Lake's expansive sound…Lake is up to serious fun here…”
Mike Joyce – The Washington Post
“…a captivating disc….”
Rob Cline – All About Jazz
One Final Note Review: For years, Oliver Lake has indulged his love of groove music with Caribbean-flavored bands. First it was the reggae bounce of Jump Up, and now the Steel Quartet. This is unapologetically happy music; fans looking for the profundities of Lake's 1980s releases on Gramavision and Novus are likely to be disappointed.
But Lake knows exactly what he is doing and this CD is calculated to please. Yes, that is a cover of Mary J. Blige's "Time" that ends the CD, and he's thrown in Horace Silver's "Señor Blues", once a staple of hard-swinging jazz bands, into the mix, too. And just to acknowledge the tradition, there's "Venus", a memorable line from Chicago tenorist Ari Brown.
The band gets its name from Lyndon Achee's steel pan, played with great energy and appropriate lilt. But the instrument's charm is soon outweighed by its limitations. With a limited range and coloristic palette, Achee can't do a great deal either as soloist or rhythm section member. That gives bassist Reggie Washington and drummer Damon Duewhite a lot to do, and they pump the groove admirably.
But the heart of the CD is Lake and his chardonnay-toned alto. It's a sound that's instantly recognizable and he can do anything he wants with it, especially on "Stolen Moments" by fellow St. Louisian Oliver Nelson. It's so good and so lived in that you wonder why more people don't cover the tune.