April 9, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
The group Steps Ahead came together in 1979, but their debut album did not arrive until 1983. By that time, Steps had created a potent form of fusion. WBGO recorded an early version of the band in the summer of 1982, during the now-defunct Kool Jazz Festival. Vibraphonist Mike Maineri (photographed above) was the leader, and the lineup included some heavy hitters - drummer Peter Erskine, bassist Eddie Gomez, pianist Don Grolnick, and saxophonist Michael Brecker. Brecker was already a star, even though he had not yet recorded a solo effort (and would not for nearly five more years...strange but true...). Steps Ahead became a group that people in and out of jazz noticed, and a lot of young talent got an early lift from being in the band
(pianist Eliane Elias comes to mind).
Check out Steps Ahead playing "Islands," from the WBGO Archives.
© 2008 WBGO
April 1, 2008. Posted by Stevan Smith.
This edition celebrates: Bobbi Humphrey- Blacks and Blues (1973)
01. Chicago, Damn
02. Harlem River Drive
03. Just a Love Child
04. Blacks and Blues
05. Jasper Country Man
06. Baby's Gone
A true jazz-funk classic, and Humphrey's biggest hit, Blacks and Blues is a lesson in "cool jazz". Composed, produced, and partly arranged by the fantastic Mizell brothers (Larry & Fonce), this is an Lp that trend sends generations. Humphrey is never drowned out by her collaborators. Her performance as flautist (if you didn't know) fits snug in each melodic masterpiece. Bobbi even makes her vocal debut on the tracks, "Just A Love Child" and "Baby's Gone".
"....Yeah, it's kind of like that".
Here is an updated version of "Harlem River Drive" (Sorry no embed available). This had to be the late 80's or early 90's. Lol.
Look what else I found: [display_podcast]
Though this is not an album that would delight a purist, it is an excellent addition to any jazz collection. The moods are laid-back, soothing, and romantic. This is in heavy rotation on my (insert plug). If you haven't had the opportunity to check this album out. Please do. It is worth every minute (hint...ladies...hint...fellas).
Perfect soundtrack for the Spring weather....well when it finally gets here.
© 2008 WBGO