Steps Ahead Biography

Formed in 1979 under the name Steps, this group was seen by founder and vibes player Mike Mainieri (24 July 1938, the Bronx, New York City, New York, USA) as a way of bringing together some of the virtuoso musicians working in the New York studio scene. Originally comprising Michael Brecker (b. 29 March 1949, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, d. 13 January 2007, New York City, New York, USA; tenor saxophone), Don Grolnick (keyboards), Eddie Gomez (bass) and Peter Erskine (drums), Steps toured Japan and recorded three albums there. With the departure of Grolnick in 1983, Steps became Steps Ahead, and a series of changes of personnel ensued, including the passing through of David Sancious and Warren Bernhardt. By 1987, the group, now led by Brecker, had stabilized, and included Mike Stern (electric guitar), Darryl Jones (bass) and Steve Smith (drums). Steps Ahead has defined the New York fusion sound for some time, and has been an important vehicle for the hugely influential Brecker. A recent line-up featured the late Bob Berg, Elaine Elias and Marc Johnson.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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