April 10, 2004
Burt Conrad All Stars
Sea Bright Records
Producer: Burt Conrad
Number of discs: 1

A Soulful Journey unfolds like the sensory experiences of a music lover wandering from one music venue to another, each with a live band performing their hearts out to a different genre. Because nothing comes as naturally to the Burt Conrad All-Stars as funky rhythm and blues, swinging jazz and sexy Latin-inspired sounds which makes the expressive Burt Conrad all Stars’ debut album sound as natural as can be. They scat and scan their way around these genres to bring alive sounds that infrequently come together in one record. But there they are, sambas next to the blues, jazz beside funk, all jiving together like a sophisticated, sizzling wall of sound.

One of its masterpieces is the heartfelt reinterpretation of the classic B.B. King’s “Gambler’s Blues” with E.J. “The Professor” Sharpe’s soulful, potent vocals. This one track takes the listener back to the smoky jazz clubs of Harlem. Nestled in Conrad’s precise and polished guitar licks, this song brings that same soulful vibe screamin’ into the present. The All Stars then turned their attention to another favorite, Chester Burnett’s “Killing Floor”, giving it the same unabashed attention to detail, jazzy dust-off, and respectful resuscitation. But not to be outdone on this own record, Burt Conrad wrote his own spirited and nuanced songs that are at once modern, while soulful tributes to the jazz greats of yesteryear.

Burt Conrad on vocals, guitars and keyboards, Bernard “Pretty” Purdie on drums, Pete Cummings on bass, E.J. “The Professor” on vocals and keyboards, Nelson Rodriquez on percussion and additional keyboards by Jeff Levine. Background vocals provided by Sheila Carpenter, Sherry McGhee, Marshall Carpenter, Kimberly Green, Melissa Bell and Thomasha Simmonds. Basic tracks engineered by Bob Miller. Produced, arranged and mixed by Burt Conrad for Sea Bright Records, Inc. at Toad Hill Sound Studios, Rumson, …