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Album Review

In 1989, Steps Ahead consisted of Mike Mainieri on MIDI vibraharp, synclavier and acoustic piano, the young saxophonist Bendik doubling on keyboards, guitarist Steve Kahn, Tony Levin on electric bass and Chapman stick, and drummer Steve Smith. The powerful band did not have a great deal of subtlety by this era, but it helped to keep the much-maligned genre of fusion alive, mixing the sound of rock with jazz improvising. The 11 selections on this obscure effort were all written or co-composed by Mainieri and Bendik and make up in intensity for their lack of dynamics. Rock listeners will most enjoy this decent, if not too substantial release.


Formed: 1979

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Originally called Steps when it was formed in 1979 by vibraphonist Mike Mainieri, this group at various times has included tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker; keyboardists Don Grolnick, Eliane Elias, and Rachel Z; guitarist Mike Stern; bassists Eddie Gomez and Darryl Jones; and drummers Peter Erskine and Steve Smith, among others. Its music combines advanced jazz, R&B, rock, and fusion and is frequently...
Full bio
N.Y.C., Steps Ahead
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  • $10.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Fusion
  • Released: 1989

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