Return to Forever

Return to Forever was an American jazz-rock supergroup that evolved from a namesake 1972 solo album by bandleader Chick Corea. Members: Chick Corea (keyboards), Stanley Clarke (bass), Joe Farrell (reeds, 1971-73, 1977), Airto Moreira (percussion, 1971-73), Flora Purim (vocals, 1971-73), Bill Connors (guitar, 1973-74), Steve Gadd (drums, 1973), Mingo Lewis (percussion, 1973), Lenny White (drums, […]

Johnny Hammond

Johnny Hammond (aka Johnny Smith, Dec. 16, 1933 — June 4, 1997) was an American jazz keyboardist who debuted in 1958 with a solo organ album as Johnny Smith. Adopting the name Johnny “Hammond” Smith, he released three soul-jazz albums on Prestige-subsidiary New Jazz in 1959/60, then switched to Prestige for 16 further albums between […]

Ramon Morris

Ramon Morris is an American jazz-funk saxophonist who was briefly active during the early 1970s. Debuting in a latter-day incarnation of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Morris quickly spread his talents over 1972–73 releases by Reuben Wilson, Curtis Fuller, Shirley Scott, and Woody Shaw — credits that afforded him a one-off deal with Groove […]

Travis Biggs

Travis Biggs is an American composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist whose services were widely employed on the jazz-funk and soul circuits throughout the 1970s and early 1980s. Under his own name, he released two albums during the late 1970s. Spreading his talents over sides by John Kasandra and Bohannon, among others, Biggs adopted the little-used nickname […]

Hubert Eaves

Hubert Eaves is an American keyboardist, composer, and producer who played on numerous jazz-funk and soul recordings during the 1970s and ’80s. As a bandleader, he released the coveted Esoteric Funk LP in 1977. A home-taught musician, the St. Paul prodigy emerged as sideman to Gary Bartz as part of the saxist’s NTU Troop on […]

Webster Lewis

Webster Lewis (Sept. 1, 1943 — Nov. 20, 2002) was an American keyboardist and producer who released five albums between 1972 and 1981. Sporting a master’s degree from the New England Conservatory of Music, the Baltimore-raised pianist/organist hit the scene in 1972 with spots on the Bill Evans/George Russell Living Time LP and on a […]

New York Mary

New York Mary was an instrumental jazz-rock trio that was active in the Northeast U.S. during the mid-1970s, releasing two albums on Arista’s Freedom imprint in 1976. Members: Bruce Johnstone (baritone/alto/soprano sax), Rick Petrone (bass), Joe Corsello (drums, percussion) Saxophonist Bruce Johnstone and bassist Rick Petrone played in Maynard Ferguson’s backing band during the earlier […]

Sons and Daughters of Lite

Sons and Daughters of Lite were an American jazz-funk ensemble from Oakland, Calif, that released the album Let the Sun Shine In on self-press Sunlite Record Publishing Company in 1978. Members: Basuki Bala (leader, baritone saxophone, alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute, percussion, vocals), Marty Payne (trumpet, flugelhorn, backing vocals), Paul Fenner III (tenor saxophone), Michael […]

Robin Kenyatta

Robin Kenyatta (March 6, 1942 — Oct. 26, 2004) is an American jazz-funk saxophonist from Moncks Corner, SC. Discography: Until (1968) Girl From Martinique (1971) Robin Kenyatta’s Free State Band (1972) Gypsy Man (1973) Terra Nova (1973) Stompin’ at the Savoy (1974) Nomusa (1975) Encourage the People (1976) Beggars and Stealers (live, 1977) Take the […]

Robert Watson

Robert Watson — aka Robert M. Watson Jr. (born Aug. 23, 1953) — is an American post-bop/jazz-funk alto saxophonist from Lawrence, Kan. Discography: Estimated Time of Arrival (1978) All Because of You (1979) Beatitudes (1983 • Bobby Watson & Curtis Lundy) Gumbo (1983 • The Horizon Quintet) Jewel (1983 • Robert Watson Sextet) Live in […]

Tom Harrell

Tom Harrell (born June 16, 1946) is an American jazz-funk trumpeter from Urbana, Ill. Discography: Aurora (1976) Look to the Sky (1979 • John McNeil & Tom Harrell) Open Air (1987) Stories (1988) Sail Away (1989) Form (1990) Moon Alley (1990 • Tom Harrell Quintet) Passages (1992) Upswing (1993) Labyrinth (1996) The Art of Rhythm […]

Eddie Russ

Eddie Russ is an American jazz-funk keyboardist from Pittsburgh who released the album Fresh Out on Jazz Masters in 1974, followed by two further titles on Monument between 1976 and 1978. While under contract with that second label, he adopted the pseudonym Gaff Dunsun to participate in the singular album by Latin/jazz-funk sextet Mixed Bag, […]

Art Webb

Art Webb is an American flautist primarily active as a jazz-funk sessionist during the 1970s and 1980s. Under his own name he released two albums in 1977. Appearing first on back-to-back albums by Norman Connors — Dance of Magic (1972) and Dark of Light (1973) — Webb’s talents were soon heard on the recordings of […]

Milton Wright

Milton Wright is an American soul-funk musician, songwriter, and producer who released two albums on Atlantic-subsidiary Alston between 1975 and 1977. He is the brother of soul singer Betty Wright. Discography: Friends and Buddies (1975) “I Belong to You” / “The Gallop” (1976 • Milton Wright & The Terra Shirma Strings) “Ooh, Ooh, Ooh I […]

Julian Priester

Julian Priester — aka Pepo Mtoto (June 29, 1935) — is an American trombonist from Chicago, Ill. Discography: Keep Swingin’ (1960) Spiritsville (1960) Love, Love (1974 • Julian Priester Pepo Mtoto) Polarization (1977 • Julian Priester and Marine Intrusion) Koputai (1990 • Ralph Towner, Charlie Haden, Jerry Granelli, Julian Priester, Robben Ford, Denny Goodhew & […]

Lightmen Plus One

Lightmen Plus One were an American jazz-funk band that released two albums on Judnell circa 1970/71, followed by two further albums on bandleader Bubba Thomas’ Lightin’ Records between 1972 and 1975. Members: – Discography: Free as You Wanna Be (1970 • The Lightmen) Fancy Pants (1971) Energy Control Center (1972) Country Fried Chicken (1975 • […]

Weather Report

Weather Report was a multinational jazz-funk/fusion ensemble that released 14 studio albums on Columbia between 1971 and 1986. Throughout its existence, the band was co-led by American saxophonist Wayne Shorter and Austrian keyboardist Joe Zawinul. Numerous rhythm players did stints with the band during its 15-year history, most notably drummers Alphonse Mouzon and Narada Michael […]

Wayne Shorter

Wayne Shorter (Aug. 25, 1933 — March 2, 2003) was an American saxophonist from Newark, N.J., who co-led the jazz-funk supergroup Weather Report with Austrian keyboardist Joe Zawinul between 1971 and 1985. Discography: Introducing Wayne Shorter (1960) Wayning Moments (1962) Night Dreamer (1964) Juju (1965) Speak No Evil (1966) The All Seeing Eye (1966) Adam’s […]

The Mysterious Flying Orchestra

The Mysterious Flying Orchestra were an American jazz-funk big band that recorded a self-titled album for RCA in 1977. Members: Bob Thiele (conductor, composition, percussion), Phil Bodner (tenor saxophone, English horn), Babe Clarke (baritone saxophone), Eddie Daniels (flute, tenor saxophone), Steve Marcus (soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone), Charlie Mariano (soprano saxophone), Bob Mintzer (tenor saxophone), Donald […]

Tip of the Iceberg

Tip of the Iceberg were an American jazz-funk big band that released a self-titled album on Project 3 Records in 1975. Members: Derek Smith (electric piano, clavinet), Albie Berk (drums), Russel George (bass), Tony Mottola (electric guitar, guitar), Don Albano (electric guitar, vocals), Sue Evans (percussion), Phil Kraus (percussion), George Young (tenor saxophone, flute, fife, […]

The Eleventh House

The Eleventh House was an American jazz-funk-rock supergroup led by guitarist Larry Coryell. They issued a self-titled album on Vanguard in 1974, followed by the 1975–1976 Arista albums Level One and Aspects. Noted participants included drummer Alphonse Mouzon, keyboardist Mike Mandel, and trumpeters Randy Brecker and Terumasa Hino. Members: Larry Coryell (guitar), Randy Brecker (trumpet, […]

The Crusaders

The Crusaders were an American jazz-funk band from Los Angeles that was known throughout its first decade as The Jazz Crusaders, which issued a string of post-bop albums on Pacific Jazz during the 1960s. In 1971, they shortened their name to The Crusaders and issued a string of jazz-funk/R&B albums on Blue Thumb. They scored […]

The Brecker Brothers

The Brecker Brothers were an American jazz-funk duo from N.Y.C. comprised of saxophonist Michael Brecker and trumpeter Randy Brecker, who played on numerous recordings together and separately throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Members: Randy Brecker (trumpet), Michael Brecker (saxophone) Discography: The Brecker Bros. (1975) Back to Back (1976) Don’t Stop the Music (1977) Blue Montreux […]

The 360 Degree Music Experience

The 360 Degree Music Experience were an American avant-jazz ensemble that released six albums on assorted labels between 1975 and 1984, including several that give featured status to drummer/bandleader Beaver Harris. Members: Beaver Harris (drums), Grachan Moncur III (trombone), Dave Burrell (piano), Ken McIntyre (saxophone), Cameron Brown (piano), Ron Burton (bass) Discography: From Rag Time […]

Tarika Blue

Tarika Blue were a New York-based, multi-national jazz-funk/soul collective that was active during the late 1970s. Premiering in a strictly instrumental framework, the band incorporated vocals on their second of two albums. Members: Phil Clendennin (keyboards, piano), Ryo Kawasaki (electric guitar), Barry Coleman (bass), Kevin Atkins (drums), Marvin Blackman (tenor saxophone), Bradie Speller (percussion), Justo […]

Stanton Davis’ Ghetto Mysticism

Stanton Davis (born Nov. 10, 1945) is an American trumpeter from New Orleans who led the jazz-funk band Ghetto Mysticism, which issued the album Brighter Days on Outrageous Records Incorporated in 1977. Discography: Brighter Days (1977 • Stanton Davis’ Ghetto Mysticism) Manhattan Melody (1988) Isis Voyage: Unreleased Music & Alternative Mixes From the Brighter Days […]

Stanley Clarke

Stanley Clarke (born June 30, 1951) is an American jazz-funk bassist from Philadelphia who played in the supergroup Return to Forever between 1972 and 1977. He was born Stanley Marvin Clarke on June 30, 1951 in Philadelphia. His mother, a church choir singer, encouraged him to take up music. He started on accordion, then played […]

Sonny Sharrock

Sonny Sharrock (Aug. 27, 1940 — May 25, 1994) was an American avant-jazz guitarist from Ossining, N.Y. Discography: Black Woman (1969) Monkey-Pockie-Boo (1970) Green Line (1971 • Steve Marcus, Sonny Sharrock, Miroslav Vitous & Daniel Humair) Paradise (1975 • Sonny & Linda Sharrock) Dance With Me Montana (1986 • Sonny Sharrock Trio) Guitar (1986) Seize […]

Rahsaan Roland Kirk

Rahsaan Roland Kirk — aka Ronald Theodore Kirk (Aug. 7, 1935 — Dec. 5, 1977) — was an American woodwind player from Columbus, Ohio. Discography: Triple Threat (1957 • Roland Kirk) Introducing Roland Kirk (1960 • Roland Kirk) Kirk’s Work (1961 • Roland Kirk With Jack McDuff) We Free Kings (1962 • Roland Kirk) Domino […]

Patrice Rushen

Patrice Rushen (born Sept. 30, 1954) is an American musician and composer who began her career as a jazz keyboardist in the mid-1970s, playing on albums by Alphonso Johnson, Azar Lawrence, Donald Byrd, Eddie Henderson, Harvey Mason, Jean-Luc Ponty, and Luis Gasca. She was born Patrice Louise Rushen on September 30, 1954, in Los Angeles. […]

Nathan Davis

Nathan Davis (Feb. 15, 1937 — April 8, 2018) was an American tenor and soprano saxophonist from Kansas City, Mo. Discography: Happy Girl (1965) Peace Treaty (1965 • Nathan Davis Sextet) The Hip Walk (1966) Rules of Freedom (1967) Jazz Concert in a Benedictine Monastery (1969 • Nathan Davis Quartet) Makatuka (1971) 6th Sense in […]

Malone & Barnes and Spontaneous Simplicity

Malone & Barnes and Spontaneous Simplicity were an American jazz-funk/soul duo/band combo from Washington, D.C., that released the album Freedom Serenade on self-press Humpin’ International in 1977. Members: Johnny Malone (vocals), Allan Barnes (saxophone, flute) Discography: Freedom Serenade (1977)

Lonnie Smith

Lonnie Smith (born July 3, 1942) is an American soul-jazz/funk organist from Lackawanna, NY. Discography: Finger-Lickin’ Good (1967) Think! (1968 • Lonnie Smith with Lee Morgan and David Newman) Turning Point (1969) Drives (1970) Move Your Hand (live, 1970) Mama Wailer (1971) Afro-Desia (1975) Keep On Lovin’ (1976) Funk Reaction (1977) Gotcha’ (1978) Flavors (1980) […]

Lonnie Liston Smith

Lonnie Liston Smith (born Dec. 28, 1940) is an American jazz-funk keyboardist, composer, arranger, and band-leader who has been musically active since the early 1960s. His early career included stints with Max Roach, Roland Kirk, Pharoah Sanders, and Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. Following an early ’70s gig with Gato Barbieri, Smith formed the Cosmic Echoes, […]

Lenny White

Lenny White (born Dec. 19, 1949) is an American jazz-rock drummer from N.Y.C. who played in the bands Azteca and Return to Forever during the 1970s. Discography: Venusian Summer (1975) Big City (1977) Streamline (1978) The Adventures of Astral Pirates (1978) The Griffith Park Collection (1982 • Stanley Clarke, Chick Corea, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard […]

Kenny Barron

Kenny Barron (born June 9, 1943) is an American jazz pianist from Philadelphia. Discography: You Had Better Listen (1968 • The Jimmy Owens – Kenny Barron Quintet) Sunset to Dawn (1973) Peruvian Blue (1974) Lucifer (1975) Innocence (1978) Europa Jazz (1981 • Sal Nistico, Kenny Barron, Anthony Jackson & Buddy Rich) At The Piano (1982) […]

Joe Henderson

Joe Henderson (April 24, 1937 — June 30, 2001) was an American tenor saxophonist from Lima, Ohio. Discography: Page One (1963) Our Thing (1964) In ‘n Out (1965) Inner Urge (1966) Mode for Joe (1966) The Kicker (1968 • Joe Henderson Sextet) Tetragon (1969) Power to the People (1970) In Pursuit of Blackness (1971) Black […]