Saturday, 10 March 2012

Stuff - Live at Montreaux (1976)

The cover may not look like much, but trust me, this is truly a killer album from start to finish.

Legend has it that during a break in a Esther Marrow sound check, the guys in Stuff shot each other a wink and started to grove. The rest is history. Stuff hail from New York and the band backed some of the largest acts in the 1970's and 80's, including the likes of: Aretha Franklin, Paul Simon, and John Lennon (just to name a few). Stuff's greatness is not solely attributable to the virtuosity of the players, but also to the dynamic they share. Led by bassist Gordon Edwards, Stuff includes Richard Tee on keys, Eric Gale on guitar, Cornell Dupree on guitar and once again, the awesome Steve Gadd on drums.

What really makes the album is the dynamic range of the musicians. Every member of the band sacrifices part of their ego for the benefit of the groove. Gadd's syncopation on "Ode To Stuff" is a perfect example of the shared respect they had for one other. Listen to how the band drops out when Tee solos on the same track then slowly return to full throttle, all in perfect sonic balance. At no point is one person dominating the groove.

The group works through a bunch of instrumentals beginning with their song, "Foots." The band chose to do a lot of covers during the set including a cover of Stevie's, "Signed Sealed Delivered", "Boogie on Reggae Woman", and Earth Wind and Fire's, "That's the Way of the World." They even grace gospel music with their magical touch covering the spirituals, "Lift Every Voice" and "Oh Happy Day." Also, a review of the album would not be complete without mentioning either of the two stellar one minute drum solos done by Steve Gadd - a must listen.

If you don't know Stuff, this is the perfect album to get your feet wet with. Once you turn it on, you won't want to stop it.

CD ripped @ 320

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