Steps Ahead: Steps: A Collection
By comparison, Step By Step is a bit less inspired and has a certain late-70s slickness to it, although the playing is still quite good. Clocking in at around 36 minutes, the record certainly recalls the days of the vinyl era, when albums were usually short and sweet affairs. Mainieri’s contributions are the poppy "Kyoto," the waltz "Belle" (featuring nice arco playing by Gomez), and the funky Latin "Bullet Train." Two Grolnick pieces bookend the program: first the swinging "Uncle Bob," and last "Six Persimmons," a beautiful ballad that would later appear simply as "Persimmons" on 1990’s Weaver of Dreams (Blue Note). This is essential Don Grolnick — for years nearly impossible to find, now readily available. Fans of the late pianist and composer in particular will want this in their collection.
Track Listing: CD1: Uncle Bob; Kyoto; Belle; Bullet Train; Six Persimmons. CD2: NL 4; The Aleph; Patch of Blue; Four Chords' Take a Walk' Nichka; The Aleph (alternate take).
Personnel: Michael Brecker: tenor sax; Steve Gadd: drums (CD1); Eddie Gomez: bass; Don Grolnick: piano; Mike Mainieri, vibraphone; Peter Erskine: drums (CD2).
Record Label: NYC Records