Steps "Smokin' in the Pit " BETTER DAYS(45CY-2865-66)

M.Mainieri M.Brecker S.Gadd D.Grolnick E.Gomez K.Watanabe
    * N.Y. Type    - L.A. Type    - Latin Type   - Nac/Aor Type 
    - Black Contemperary   Type   - Euro. Type   - Afro Type
    - Jazz Type    - Blues Type   - Rock  Type   
A combination of Mike Mainieri and Michael Brecker had started with "White Elephant ", and had experienced various sessions since started. After a while, the combination was re-established again in this band Steps, and the band moved to Steps Ahead. They are now separated and each of them leads his band. Those days, four players M.Mainieri/M.Brecker/S.Gadd/D.Grolnick were representative Fusion stars. And New York type Fusion albums in those days would record at least one of these four stars' play. In terms of that, the sound of this album could be regarded as "mainstream of Fusion ". Although the basist of this album E.Gomez was an acoustic bass man, this album describes very straight and typical Fusion sound. Let's talk about categories of Fusion music, there are so many sounds and styles there. We call a style of Fusion like "N.Y. type ", but that N.Y. type includes so many charastaristic sounds, such like Chick Corea type, funk type like Brecker Bros., The 24th Street Band type, GRP, and so on. So we cannot easily categorize something as "N.Y. type " because it says nothing. I love N.Y. type sounds around Mike Mainieri, such as this Steps. Nowadays, it's a little disappointing for fans of these kind of N.Y. type like me that there's only few successor of this style of N.Y. type except Brecker Bros. This album is a live album recorded at Roppongi Pit-inn, and it will show you typical sound of those good old In this session, all six players including Kazumi Watanabe deployed tremendously powerful improvisation battle. I couldn't be there, but can get the image of the session through the album very vividly and colorfully. In the future, I think it will be possible that M.Mainieri and M.Brecker form the combination again, but I suppose it will be difficult to have a session play adding S.Gadd and D.Grolnick to the combination. I hope I could witness their sparkling battle play. (I guess it might be usual thing for them.)
It was also climax times of the BETTER DAYS label, wasn't it?(by Aswan)
MelodiousOut of melody/code

Translated by Toshitake Ozutsumi