Pockets Is Back!
This is how the story goes!
In the beginning there was a high school, self-contained local funk and R&B band from Baltimore, MD called Charlie Co. The title was created and named after Charles Williams who is the trumpet player and vocalist with the group Pockets. Charles created the group that performed in and out of the Baltimore, MD area and had a unbelievable sound that would remind you of the combination of many groups like the Jazz Crusaders, Chicago and as funky as Cameo with a high emphasis on the three piece horns section of the band that was trumpet, trombone and saxophone. The other instrumentation was a lead singer who was Lloyd Hamm, bassist who sang which was Gary Grainger, guitarist Ronald Smith who sang, drummer Darrell Dickerson who sang, Charles William the leader, trumpet and vocals, Kevin Barnes on trombone and vocals, and Irving Madison on tenor saxophone and vocals. This band developed a reputation as one of the best young up and coming R&B Funk band in the area. As years passed different members went on to do other things and pursued more involved musical projects and so Charlie Co eventually disbanded.
Shortly after Charlie Co disburse bassist of Charlie Co Gary Grainger and a local keyboardist of Baltimore Albert McKinney created a more progressive jazz group called Innervisions. And this group was more of a swing, contemporary and mainstream smooth jazz-funk style than Charlie Co. This group consists of Albert McKinney as the leader, vocals and keyboard, Gary Grainger as the bassist and some vocals, George Gray on the drums, Jake Sheffer on guitar, David E. Smith on tenor saxophone, flute and vocals, and Jimmy Wilson on trumpet with electric effects. This group was also one of the most polished and in demand jazz groups in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C area. Soon Al McKinney nabbed the interest of Verdine White of Earth, Wind & Fire who began to love what the Innervisions was offering between the vocals, rhythm section with horns and the concept. However Vedine wanted the group to become a bit more of tan R&B concept than jazz and so the horn members, David Smith and Jimmy Wilson wasn't in the agreement of doing anything different than playing jazz. So the horn section of the group Charlie Co was asked to replace the two and become a part of the group Innervisions that eventually changed the name to Pockets. And this is where it all started for the group Pockets by being picked up in Baltimore by Verdine White to record their first demo on a barge that had a recording studio near what is called now the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. Unfortunately the barge sank with all of the recorded material and the group Pockets was asked next to travel to Los Angeles, California to record their first release under the direction of Verdine White and Maurice White as the producers. The LP release was entitled "Come Go With Me" which lead to Pockets becoming the opening act for the Denise Williams and Earth, Wind & Fire show of 1977-1978 All N All tour. At this point Pockets consists of the Innervisions rhythm section that was at the time Al McKinney as the leader, vocals and keyboardist, Gary on bass and vocals, George Gray on the drums and Jake Sheffer on guitar. Verdine White located an incredible vocalist from Oakland, California by the name of Larry Jacobs who was flown into Baltimore to meet Pockets and begin rehearsals for the new recording and upcoming tours. And the horns section was Charles Williams on trumpet and vocals, Kevin Barnes on trombone and vocals with Irving Madison on tenor saxophone and vocals. That was now Pockets back in 1976 to 1980.
The band is back!!
Now the group has reunited and are releasing new content in 2020.