Player is an American rock band during the late 1970s. Their #1 hit, “Baby Come Back” was written by Peter Beckett and J.C. Crowley. Player first came together in Los Angeles, California. The original members included Peter Beckett (lead vocals, guitar), John Charles “J.C.” Crowley (vocals, keyboards, guitar), Ronn Moss (bass, vocals) and John Friesen (drums). Beckett, a transplanted Englishman, had been in a group called Skyband with Australian Steve Kipner (who’d also played with the popular Aussie act Tin Tin). After Skyband broke up in 1975, Beckett was in LA and met Crowley at a party. He and Crowley teamed up in a new band called Riff Raff, which soon changed its name to Bandana and released a single, “Jukebox Saturday Night”, on Dennis Lambert & Brian Potter’s Haven label. When Haven folded soon after, Lambert & Potter brought the guys over to RSO Records in 1977 and Beckett & Crowley started anew with Moss & Friesen as Player. Wayne Cook, a keyboardist/session player and former member of Steppenwolf, was an additional bandmember for its live performances; he is the curly-haired keyboardist in the band’s videos from the 1970s.
Listening to Sketches of Life is something like finding a diamond midway through a box of Cracker Jack. It starts off with some typically easygoing midtempo quiet storm action that offers more cinders than real fire, but then it suddenly explodes with soul, jazz, and fusion – and some of the leader's finest performances this side of the old Crusaders. Henderson's trombone turbulence finds willing support from friends old (saxman Wilton Felder) and new (Rob Mullins, Dwight Sills), and these all-stars stretch the limits of the pop side of jazz. Especially impressive is Lee Oskar's bluesy, Toots Thielemans-styled harmonica playing. Henderson could do just fine without the rap and chant, but otherwise, he leads a fun-filled cruise through adventureland.