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Blending Past and Present Into B Sharp Focus : Jazz: All members of the quartet write wide-ranging material that they believe pushes the group into a new realm.


"We're playing just as intense as anybody," says Graham. "So we're going to walk right into the teeth of the lion and see what's up. We don't care if we get cheered or booed."

Graham thinks B Sharp should be included on non-jazz concerts, too. In this way, he feels, that jazz--and, specifically, B Sharp--can overcome what he says is a compartmentalization that limits the band's exposure and, as a result, album sales.

"I want B Sharp to play on some alternative-music concerts, say with the Eurythmics or Stone Temple Pilots," he says. "If you let people listen to jazz as much as you let them listen to other music, jazz would be just as popular."


And the fact that B Sharp's members have played with many non-jazz bands also helps to give the group wider appeal, Graham says. "When we play for young people and they ask, 'Well, who have you played with?' and we name Queen Latifah or Freestyle Fellowship, they go, 'Oh, cool' and they listen to the jazz music we play," he says.

"Whereas if I say I've played with James Moody or Don Cherry, they're gonna go, 'Huh?' So if they know the people we've played with, it brings them in."

* The B Sharp Jazz Quartet and keyboardist Bobby Lyle play Friday at the Hyatt Newporter, 1107 Jamboree Road, Newport Beach. 7:30 p.m. $15. (714) 729-1234.

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