Catalyst was an American jazz-funk band that released four albums between 1972 and 1975. Their first, a self-titled release on Cobblestone, features future Weather Report bassist Alphonso Johnson. After the label was acquired by Muse Records, Catalyst released the albums Perception, Unity, and A Tear & A Smile.

Members: Eddie Green (keyboards, vocals), Alphonso Johnson (bass), Tyrone Brown (bass), Sherman Ferguson (drums, percussion, marimba), Odean Pope (saxophone, flute, oboe)


Catalyst formed in Philadelphia as a jazz-funk quartet comprised of keyboardist Eddie Green, bassist Alphonso Johnson, drummer/percussionist Sherman Ferguson, and reedist Odean Pope. After the first album, Johnson cleared way for bassist Tyrone Brown.

Green and Brown played on the 1966 single “Ebony Woman” (b/w “Go to Hell”), the debut release by soul singer Billy Paul (released as Mr. Billy Paul). They also played on Pat Martino‘s 1968 Prestige release East! and Paul’s 1971 PIR debut Going East. Separately, Green played on a pair of 1969/70 Prestige titles by saxophonist Sonny Criss; Brown appeared on the 1967 Alfa Records release Emerges by the D. B. Shrier Quartet.

Ferguson played on three tracks credited to Leon Thomas on the 1970 multi-artist Flying Dutchman release Super Black Blues: Volume II.


Catalyst released their self-titled debut album in 1972 on Muse.


Catalyst released their second album, Perception, in 1973 on Muse.


Catalyst released their third album, Unity, in 1974 on Muse.

A Tear & A Smile

Catalyst released their fourth album, A Tear & A Smile, in 1975 on Muse.



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