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Steps Ahead

Steps Ahead is an American jazz fusion group.

The group arose out of spontaneous sessions at Seventh Avenue South, a jazz club in New York City owned by saxophonist Michael Brecker and trumpeter brother Randy Brecker. The first three albums were released under the name Steps, later changed to Steps Ahead, on Nippon Columbia in Japan, starting with the debut live album Smokin' in the Pit (1980), followed by Step By Step (1981) and Paradox (1982).

The shifting roster has included vibraphonist Mike Mainieri, saxophonists Michael Brecker, Bob Berg, Bendik Hofseth, Bill Evans, Ernie Watts, and Donny McCaslin; pianists Don Grolnick, Eliane Elias, Warren Bernhardt and Rachel Z; guitarists Mike Stern, Chuck Loeb, and Steve Khan; bassists Eddie Gomez, Darryl Jones, Tony Levin, Victor Bailey, Richard Bona, and Marc Johnson; and drummers Steve Gadd, Peter Erskine, Steve Smith, and Dennis Chambers.

Steps Ahead was active during the 1970s and 1980s, intermittently during the 1990s, and reunited for concerts in the mid-2000s.

Current Members: Mike Mainieri; Bill Evans; Steve Smith; Tom Kennedy.

Past members: Michael Brecker; Don Grolnick; Chuck Loeb; Eliane Elias; Bob Berg; Warren Bernhardt; Bendik Hofseth; Rachel Z; Jimi Tunnell; Mike Stern; Steve Khan; Eddie Gómez; Darryl Jones; Tony Levin; Jeff Andrews; Victor Bailey; Marc Johnson; Steve Gadd; Peter Erskine; Dennis Chambers; Donny McCaslin; Bryan Baker.


Album Review

Steps Ahead: Holding Together

Read "Holding Together" reviewed by John Kelman

In its early incarnations, Steps Ahead was an ongoing concern for founder/vibraphonist Mike Mainieri. The original lineup, called simply Steps, featuring saxophonist Michael Brecker, pianist Don Grolnick, bassist Eddie Gomez, and drummer Steve Gadd, had a regular New York club residence in the late '70s before recording its first three albums for a Japanese label. Personnel would gradually shift throughout the '80s, but in recent years it's become something of a revolving door, with the lineup for each tour often ...

Album Review

Steps Ahead: Steps: A Collection

Read "Steps: A Collection" reviewed by David Adler

At last, these two long-out-of-print albums are available in a two-disc package from Mike Mainieri’s NYC Records. Steps recorded them (and a third, Smokin’ in the Pit, also available from NYC) for a Japanese label before becoming Steps Ahead and landing a domestic contract. Step By Step and Paradox feature the same lineup, except that Peter Erskine replaces Steve Gadd on the latter. No disrespect to Gadd intended, but Paradox is the superior album. Recorded live at the now-defunct Seventh ...

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Video / DVD

Weekend Extra: Steps Ahead, Still Ahead

Weekend Extra: Steps Ahead, Still Ahead

Source: Rifftides by Doug Ramsey

The modern jazz sub-genre called jazz fusion emerged in the 1960s, attracted a wide audience and received extensive radio air play through the second half of the twentieth century. The music combined elements of rhythm and blues, jazz, rock, funk and, often, time signatures that were challenging for both musicians and listeners. Fusion came in for criticism for traditionalists and purists. “Con-fusion, I call it,” the great bassist Gene Ramey once told me. Nonetheless, the category—like jazz itself—was flexible enough ...



Performance / Tour

Mike Mainieri & Steps Ahead "Special Edition" Feb. 7-10 at the Iridium Jazz Club Sets at 8:30 & 10:30PM

Mike Mainieri & Steps Ahead "Special Edition"  Feb. 7-10  at the Iridium Jazz Club Sets at 8:30 & 10:30PM

Source: Jim Eigo, Jazz Promo Services

IRIDIUM JAZZ CLUB 1650 BROADWAY (Corner of 51st) NEW YORK, NY 10023 RESERVATIONS: 212-582-2121 Sets At 8:30 & 10:30PM Feb. 7-10 MIKE MAINIERI & STEPS AHEAD-"Special Edition" MIKE MAINIERI - Vibraphone DONNY McCASLIN - Saxophone MIKE STERN - Guitar (appearing 8th-9th-10th) BRYAN BAKER - Guitar (appearing 7th only) TONY LEVIN - Bass STEVE SMITH - Drums STEPS AHEAD “HOLDING TOGETHER" ...



JVC Jazz Festival New York presents Seven Steps to Jaco featuring Steps Ahead 2005

JVC Jazz Festival New York presents Seven Steps to Jaco featuring Steps Ahead 2005

Source: All About Jazz

NEW YORK, NY - Don't miss an evening of fusion at its finest Wednesday, June 22, at 8:00 p.m. at the Beacon Theatre when the JVC Jazz Festival - New York presents Seven Steps to Jaco starring Steps Ahead (2005) featuring Michael Brecker, Mike Mainieri, Steve Smith, Mike Stern and Richard Bona plus a dynamic tribute Portrait of Jaco: Remembering Jaco Pastorius featuring Steve Bailey, Jeff Berlin, Richard Bona, Oteil Burbridge, Matthew Garrison, Victor Wooten, Will Lee, Christian McBride, Felix ...

Brian Grace
Paolo Dinuzzi
bass, electric
band / ensemble / orchestra



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Holding Together

NYC Records


Holding Together

Better Days


Steps: A Collection

NYC Records



Better Days



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