Blood, Sweat & Tears History
Blood, Sweat & Tears began in one weekend of club shows at the Cafe
Go, in New York's Greenwich Village in July of 1967. Al Kooper,
the Blues Project, had a great admiration for jazz band leader Maynard
and wanted to form an electric rock band. As a basis for the music, Al
it to use horns as much as guitarists, and jazz as much as rock. He did
put together a
band in the hope of raising enough cash to get to London. It was there
to produce records and put such a band together. So, Al Kooper invited
Colomby to play, and also asked Steve Katz a fellow former member from
Blues Project. Though there had been some personal disagreements
& Steve, they had decided to put it behind them. Jim Fielder,
member of the Buffalo Springfield and the Mothers of Invention joined
They played some of Al's newer tunes: "My Days Are Numbered", " I Can't
Quit Her" and
" I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know". Also on the bill were Paul
Simon and Judy Collins. Despite the all-star cast, the gig barely
money for milk shakes for the musicians.
By this time Steve Katz and Bobby Colomby wanted to start a new band. Bobby’s origins as a drummer were steeped in jazz. Most of the musicians he hung out with were jazz players, but most of their friends socially were rock or folk performers. They wanted a band to reflect their individual influences. One of their main ones was the Buckingham’s LP ”Time and changes”. Since they liked Al’s songs that they played at the gig, Steve asks Al to join. Kooper agreed, as long as he was in charge musically. The Blues Project was a complete cooperative and there was too much compromising to please him, so he was only prepared to throw in with another band if he was calling the shots.Colomby started looking for a horn section, and he began with his friends Fred Lipsius on saxophone.They did a few shows as a five piece. Soon the recruited Dick Halligan on trombone, Randy Brecker on trumpet and flugelhorn, and Jerry Weiss, also on trumpet and flugelhorn. This became the group that Kooper had visualized. Their first gig was at the Village Theater (which later became the Fillmore East) as the opening act for the James Cotton Blues band.
Al Kooper started to compose more songs and Fred Lipsius became a key arranger for the band. The name Blood, Sweat and Tears came to Kooper in the wake of an after-hours jam at the Cafe Au Go Go, where he'd played with a cut on his hand that had left his organ keyboard covered in blood! A couple of weeks later the band opened for Moby Grape at the Cafe A Go Go.Their sound, in contrast to R&B outfits that merely used horn sections for embellishment and accompaniment, was a true hybrid of rock and jazz, with a strong element of soul as the bonding agent that held it together. Lipsius, Brecker, Weiss, and Halligan were not confined to following and embellishing the choruses, but played complex, detailed arrangements. Katz played guitar solos as well as rhythm accompaniment, and Kooper's keyboards moved to the fore along with his singing. Their sound was bold, and it was all new. Audiences at the time were just getting used to the psychedelic explosion of the previous spring and summer, but they were bowled over by what they heard. That first version of Blood, Sweat & Tears had elements of psychedelia in their work, but extended it into realms of jazz, R&B, and soul, in ways that had hardly been heard before in one band. The songs were attractive and challenging, the arrangements gave room for Lipsius, Brecker, and others, to solo as well as play rippling ensemble passages, while Kooper's organ and Katz's guitar swelled in pulsing, shimmering glory. They were a huge success and three record labels were willing to sign the group. They decided to sign Columbia, a label that Kooper already had a relationship with. On November 11, 1967 they entered the studio for tracking their first demo ”Refugee from Yuhupitz”. A month later they begin recording their first album ”Child is Father to the Man”. As a producer they used John Simon. The album was recorded in just two weeks and released on February 21 1968. Seven of the tracks are written by Kooper, one by Katz, and four are covers. The critics loved it and compared it to the Beatles ”Sgt. Pepper” and the Beach Boys ”Pet Sounds”. The album was considered a milestone in rock music. Jan Wenner wrote in Rolling Stone: ”Blood, Sweat & Tears is the best thing to happen in rock and roll so far in 1968”. It was something completely new. The horns were there for more than riffs or symphonic interludes, they were right at the heart of the sound. The only thing it did not have was a hit single to get radio play and help drive sales. ”Child Is Father to the Man” was out there on its own, invisible to AM radio and the vast majority of the public, awaiting word-of-mouth, whatever help the still fledgling rock press could give, plus the band's touring to promote it. Initially, it rated # 47 in the charts, yet despite all that, it received the accolade of Grammy nomination.
Al Kooper then began working on the next BS&T album, searching for songs for follow-up material. On the first, he had been given a free hand to do what he could for BS&T. But for the second album, both Katz and Colomby wanted to take a more active part in the development of the band. Both of them wanted a new, stronger vocalist and to move Kooper exclusively to playing the organ and composing. A meeting with Kooper resulted in him deciding to quit the band. In the end, he departed after their last gig at the Garrick Theatre in New York, to take a producer's job at Columbia Records. At the same time, Randy Brecker left the band due to an invitation to play with Horace Silver (a landmark in racial integration back then).he later joined the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Band.
been the end of the story, except that Bobby Colomby and Steve Katz saw
opportunity to pull their own band out of this debacle. Columbia
to stick with them. Jerry Weiss left
to form the group Ambergris, a clone of BS&T he launched but with
as the leader. They released only one album in 1970.
Weiss was succeeded by Chuck Winfield, and Randy Brecker by Lou Soloff.
moved over the organ and Jerry Hyman joined on trombone. Now they start
searching for a new singer. Laura Nyro, who happened to be dating Jim
at that time, makes a rehearsal. The sound has been reported to be
but she eventually decided not to join. An inquiry went to Steven
he’s busy working with Al Kooper on the “Super Session” album.
Yet, on her
recommendation, Bobby Colomby joined folk singer Judy Collins to see
Clayton-Thomas perform. He had chart hits in Canada fronting with his
Bossmen. Clayton-Thomas’ blues-tinged singing seemed perfect for the
he was recruited as lead vocalist. In his autobiography, “Clive: Inside
Record Business”, Clive Davies, then president of Columbia Records,
his initial impression of the band’s newest member: “He was staggering
powerfully built singer who exuded enormous earthly confidence. He
out at you. He seemed so genuine, so in command of the lyric lines, a
combination of fire and emotion to go with the band’s somewhat cerebral
He was almost animalistic.”
The new nine-member group reflected Colomby and Katz's vision of a band, which was heavily influenced by the Buckinghams, an outfit they both admired for mix of soul influences and their use of horns. The sound was smoother, less psychedelic, and more traditionally melodic, but still a hybrid of rock and jazz, with a strong element of soul. They also decided that since the first band did not work because it had a leader. So this time everyone should be equal. One person one vote.
As a producer for the second BS&T album, James William Guercio, who had previously produced the Buckinghams, was called in. Though Kooper was gone from Blood, Sweat & Tears, the group was forced to rely on a number of songs that he'd prepared for the new album : The album contained songs like Brenda Holloway’s ”You’ve made me so very happy”, Laura Nyro’s ”And when I die”, Trafic’s ”Smiling phases”, Clayton-Thomas’ ”Spinning Wheel”. If the first album was a loose jazz blending melted together with rock, this album had a clearer delineation between jazz and rock. Straight-ahead rock songs and a jazzy part in the middle of each song. This was the formula that really did catch the fancy of the public. The album is released in 1968 on 11 December 11. The first single by the new lineup, "You've Made Me So Very Happy," quickly rose to the number two position in the charts and lifted the album to the top of the charts as well. That was followed by "Spinning Wheel"/"More and More," which also hit number two, which, in turn, was followed by the group's version of Laura Nyro's "And When I Die," another gold-selling single. The album garnered five Grammy awards, including “Album of the Year” and ”Best Performance by a Male Vocalist”. Suddenly BS&T were as big as any band could be. Offers pour in for major concerts and TV appearances. Live performances included jazz and rock festivals from coast to coast. So much demand was created for work by Blood, Sweat & Tears, that the now 18-month-old “Child Is Father to the Man”, with the different singer and very different sound, last seen and heard in the spring of 1968, made the charts in the summer and fall of 1969 and earned a Gold Record of its own. They even played at Woodstock on the first day. The play list was: “More And More”, “I Love You More Than You Ever Know”, “Spinning Wheel” and ”Something Coming On”. Their manager at that time was Bennett Glotzer. He felt that since they were one of the headliners (along with Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix), they should be paid accordingly. $7500 was not enough to "star" in a movie. He had not recognized that the event itself would supersede the status of the individual acts. The producers of the festival and documentary were not permitted to film the band's performance. However, they did succeed in shooting the opening song, "More and More" and then were told to get off the stage. It should be noted that Albert Groossman (read “Mansions on the Hill”), a world class manager whose clients included Bob Dylan and Janis Joplin, agreed with Bennett and refused to allow Janis to be filmed as well. The month following Woodstock they began working on their next album. This time, the group produced the album. Some songs that they were planning to include were "All Along The Watchtower", "Can't Be So Bad", and "Martha, My Dear".
The management of the band began negotiations with the U.S. Immigration to give the Canadian lead singer David Clayton-Thomas a green card. After some discussion, in the end, BS&T was requested to do a little favor for the U.S. State Department. Still deeply involved in the unpopular Vietnam War, the Nixon Administration's State Department needed desperately to connect with the American youth. It then proposed Blood, Sweat & Tears on a $40,000 goodwill tour of East Europe. The idea was to bring a straight rock/jazz band behind the Iron Curtain to bring good vibes and a small taste of America to the youth of Romania, Poland and Yugoslavia. The band hated the idea but they didn't have much choice, especially if they wanted to have future plans with their lead vocalist. The tour itself was a major disaster. On the first night, the Romanian audience began standing and shouting "U.S.A.". The Bucharest police's response was to release attack German shepherds. The Communist government gives the band explicit rules on performance: more jazz, less rock; if the audience begins to make noise, leave stage; no more than two encores; no throwing of musical instruments; fewer body gestures; no removal of clothes. The result was a concert whose audience was totally repressed teens. Colomby stated: "There was an article in the New York Post, I did an interview with somebody, and they made it sound like I and the rest of the band were like staunch right-wingers, we believed in the massacre at Kent State, this was our idea, we all should have short hair, we worked for the CIA...it was unbelievable." At this time Jerry Hyman had left the band, his place was taken by Dave Bargeron, a capable player who was to add a variety of horns to the BS&T capability. After the return from the tour their third album was released, and “Blood, Sweat & Tears 3” achieved instant gold status upon release. The album contains a lot of highpoints, such as Goffin-King’s ”Hi-De-Ho”, Laura Nyro’s ”He’s a Runner”, Traffic’s ”40,000 Headmen”, Clayton-Thomas’ ”Lucretia MacEvil” and one of Steve Katz finest compositions, ”The Battle”. On the album was also a version of Jagger-Richards’ ”Sympathy for the devil”, with an arrangement by Dick Halligan. ”Hi-De-Ho” is released as a single and reaches #14 in the charts. Jazz magazines praise their precision, their arrangements, and their musicianship. Contrary rock critics call the group slick and inflexible, and that they were a pretentious pop group dabbling in horn riffs. Others argued that they were a jazz outfit trying to pass as a rock band -- either way, they weren't "one of us". Clayton-Thomas replied to the criticism. ”This band does more free blowing on stage than practically any rock band. But we do it within a very literate and educated framework. A lot of people say it sounds so precise. Well that’s the way these guys play. If you go to Julliard for five or six years, you learn to play precisely.”
In September another single ”Lucretia MacEvil” was released, it peaked at #29 in the charts. In November the group played its first concert with a full symphony in New Orleans. One of the songs that they performed that night was “Gentle Rain”. A beautiful piece written by Dave Bargeron and David Clayton-Thomas, yet not released on disc. In the fall they record music for a Barbra Streisand, George Segal movie, ”The Owl and the Pussycat”.
In 1970 Dick Halligan arranged and conducted an album with Susan Carter called 'Wonderful Deeds and Adventures'. The instruments are played by Blood, Sweat & Tears minus David and Steve, but with Randy Brecker added. Susan Carter sings like Laura Nyro, and highlights are “Bluebird”, “Cruising With The Blues” and a Billie Holiday medley.
In January 1971 they begin recording their next release in San Francisco. They recruited jazz writer/saxman/composer Don Heckman to co-produce. The session drags on, with takes mounting up to the dozens. In a brief break from the recording, Blood, Sweat & Tears becomes one of the first rock bands to play Las Vegas. The successful Caesar’s Palace run (the band broke Frank Sinatra’s 20-year old house-record, but that was not that brilliant for their careers and credibility. They thought that they were paving the way into a new market, and that that would be something good. Instead they did receive a lot of criticism. The group was accused of being hollow and pretentious, swapping its original rock audience for older, cabaret-oriented listeners. They were called a lounge act and that they had sold their soul for the money. When you look at it now a hug number of bands have been lounge acts and sold their souls in Las Vegas. B,S&T 4 is released in the end of June and it’s the first album with mostly original tunes. It turns gold in a month. This time even the rock critics are impressed. Two singles are released from the album, ”Go Down Gamblin’” and ”Lisa, listen to Me”.
At this time the
musicians had split into three separate fractions: the rockers,
of the rhythm section; the jazzers, Colomby and most of the horn
the Vegas star, Clayton-Thomas. Each believes that the band has gone
too far in
the other direction. David Clayton-Thomas decides to leave for a solo
The decision was mutual, their musical ambitions were too different.
Lipsius leaves the band. The last concert
and Fred was Dec 27, 1971. It took place in Anaheim, California.
The next month David Clayton-Thomas is replaced by the blind singer Bobby Doyle, once leader of the Bobby Doyle Trio. Joe Henderson replaces Fred Lipsius. The Swedish guitarist Georg Wadenius, member of the Swedish group ”Made in Sweden”, joins the band. Lineup fails to gel. They start to look for another lead singer. Jerry Fisher is at this time recording singles in New York with New Design, a subsidiary of Columbia Records (the BS&T label). His newly tracked recording session prompted an invitation to have a jam session with the group. After that he’s invited to join the band. Prior to joining BS&T, Jerry Fisher performed the nightclub circuits in Las Vegas, Tahoe, parts of his native Oklahoma and Texas. He had a sizeable following and was considered by one Texas music critic as "probably the greatest white blues singer in the business". When Jerry Fisher joined the band he didn’t want to sing all the old material sung by David Clayton-Thomas. He wanted to join the band as a new singer singing new songs. The other members were pleased about that, wanting to move in another direction with new material. After Jerry joined BS&T he was offered the opportunity to record a solo album for New Design, but decided instead too focus on the BS&T albums. Yet, for him, for everyone, all these changes meant time spent rehearsing and reorganizing instead of recording. Columbia releases ”Greatest hits”. 11 selections--seven singles chart entries, plus two album tracks from the celebrated debut album when Al Kooper lead the group, and two more from the Grammy-winning multi-platinum second album. The album contained the singles edits of the songs.
Meanwhile, the personal changes continue: Joe Henderson is replaced by Lou Marini Jr., Dick Halligan calls it a day and Larry Willis takes over as keyboard player. In the summer Blood, Sweat & Tears went in the studio again to record a new album. This time they choose mostly covers, influenced by the sheer lack of time. At the end of August the first new material to be released in 13 months, the single ”So long Dixie” is released. The single reaches #44. The single version of "So Long Dixie" differs between the US and Europe, it was backed by "Alone" in the US and by "Krakbegravningen" (The Crows Funeral) in Europe. "Krakbegravningen" had previous been written by Georg Wadenius for a children’s record together with the Swedish writer Barbro Lindgren, but had gone on to win an Emmy award in its own right.
The album, “New Blood” is out a month later. The original intention had been to make it a double-album, but when it was released it was a single, and perhaps was more oriented to the sound of Chicago. Also, it had been recorded in a different way -instead of being all overdubbed, it was recorded live in the studio with all the musicians participating. Due to working like that 16 sides were laid down in just 9 days. Among the more notable songs on the album are ”So long Dixie” and ”Snow Queen” which flows into Herbie Hancock’s ”Maiden voyage” where Georg Wadenius made his scat-singing with guitar.
The New Blood lineup went on a worldwide tour to promote the new album. Supporting act on the European part of the tour was guitarist Stefan Grossman, at that time he was living in Great Britain, in the early sixties he played in the Even Dozen Jug Band together with Steve Katz. He is one of the world’s most foremost authorities on acoustic blues guitar, and had introduced Georg Wadenius to the band. When they returned Steve Katz leaves the band to work as a producer with Lou Reed and others. Also Chuck Winfield left, but is replaced by Tom Malone, notable in being an extraordinarily versatile multi-instrumentalist. Katz was not replaced, which allowed the group to return to its 9-man status.
As touring continues, they begin gathering material for yet another album. In the spring of 1973 they are once again in the studio to record new tracks. The resulting album ”No sweat” was released in June the same year. The opening track ”Roller coaster” is released as a single. The album consists of both originals and covers. The album this time is more rocking with ”Roller coaster” as a highpoint. The LP scores at #42. Another single ”Save our Ship” is released from the album. The touring continues and so do the personnel changes. Longtimer Jim Fielder leaves and is replaced by Ron McClure, Lou Marini JR is replaced by Bill Tillman, Tom Malone leaves and Tony Klatka takes over. Another veteran, Lew Soloff, also leaves. Jerry LaCroix, formerly member of the Edgar Winter group, joins the band on saxes and flute, he also sings, but Jerry Fisher is still the lead singer. In March and April 1974 they spend most of the time in the studio for their forthcoming album. In July ”Mirror Image” is released. ”Tell me that I’m wrong” is released as a single and reaches #83. The album only reaches #149. After that the album was released they went on a world-tour. On this tour they performed some new songs that never were recorded, for example ”Engine 48” written Dave Bargeron.
Jerry LaCroix did not feel comfortable within the band, he could not handle Bobby Colomby. Basically he did not care for Blood, Sweat and Tears style. Having had a long history of sharing lead vocal duties from very early on in the Boogie Kings, then in various groups culminating in White Trash, he eventually recorded solo material. So at the time he was more interested in his own album “The Second Coming”, which he recently had recorded. He once said that one of the reasons for him to join was that they ware going on a world tour and he had not seen the world. While BS&T were in Australia, he decided to quit. When they came back he left the group after a gig in Central Park. Luther Kent, a blues singer from New Orleans was recruited as a new lead singer together with Jerry Fisher. Luther Kent had previously succeeded Jerry LaCroix once before, in the Boogie Kings. But later had been singing with The Greek Fountains, a busy, popular band in demand regionally, then criss-crossed America with his own, 9-piece R&B band, Blues, Inc. In 1970, he and Duke Bardwell sang for Cold Grits and Black-Eyed Peas, a red-hot R&B group. His voice could be described as powerful, rough and whiskey-drenched. There were never any BS&T recordings with Luther Kent, but there is a CD called 'Luther Kent & Trick Bag - Live´. This may give you an opinion of how it might have sounded.
By this time Jerry Fisher had met his wife Melva and wanted to spend more time with her. He wanted to stop touring. Bobby, together with the band's manager Fred Heller, engineered the return of David Clayton-Thomas back as a "fait accompli" in the hope of restoring the former level of business anyway. Since David’s solo career wasn't too successful that wasn't too hard. In 1974 just before he returned to the band David flew in to meet the new group in Milwaukee. Jerry and Luther were still with the band. Of course they all ended up on stage together. It was a great show...no animosity, no attitude...just a good time jam by musicians who respected each other. One of the songs they did together was "Mean Old World" written by Jerry LaCroix. A version of it was later recorded on the "Live and Improvised" album, turning into a 30 minute jam.
When Jerry Fisher left the band he bought the Dock of the Bay restaurant in Bay St. Louis, Ms, in 1976. Luther Kent went on to form Trick Bag with guitarist Charlie Brent.
1975 begins, David Clayton-Thomas returns to B,S
& T. Joe Giorgianni is added on trumpet, flugelhorn. This is a
injection for the band. In sessions during February, they record new
an album. 50 percent cover tunes (Janis Ian, Randy Newman, the Beatles,
Image) and 50 percent originals, including a song from one of
solo albums (”Yesterday’s Music”). The album, called ”New City”, is
April, the cover credits being “Blood, Sweat & Tears featuring
Clayton-Thomas” to signal the buyers that now it’s the same band that
those hits a few years ago. It’s the first BS&T album in many years
favorable reviews. And it really is an excellent album. Live bookings
increase in quality and quantity, and they experience renewed
revival of the Beatles ”Got to Get You into My Life” peaks at US #62,
album hits #47. Don Alias becomes member of the band on percussion.
period a live album is recorded. It was released in Europe and Japan as
Concert”. It’s the same album that later was released as ”Live and
Improvised”. This album really shows the skills and musicianship
that was in the band. It is a loss there are not more live recordings
from this period. Georg Wadenius leaves the band and is replaced for a
period by Steve Kahn, he is later replaced by Mike Stern. Joe
leaves and is replaced by Forrest Buchtell.
In late summer 1975 Bobby Colomby discovered a talented bass player by the name of Jaco Pastorius, in Florida. He produced his first solo album in the autumn of 1975. It came out in spring of 1976. When Ron McClure left in late 1975. Bobby Colomby arranged for Jaco to join the band, though he stayed for only about three months. On April 1, 1976 Jaco officially joined Weather Report where he became world-famous. When Jaco left BS&T recruited by Danny Trifan.
In August 1976 ”More than Ever” is released, it’s a disappointing seller. This is the weakest album they ever have released, despite guest vocals by Patti Austin. It stalls at US #165, and Columbia Records drop the band. At this time Bobby Colomby, BS&T’s sole remaining original member calls it a day. Also Don Alias leaves. The new drummer is Roy McCurdy. In 1977 they are signed to ABC records. In November the same year they record ”Brand New Day”. The album garners positive reviews, but is not a major seller. It’s back to the good old BS&T-sound again, after ”More Than Ever”. At the same time BS&T recorded tracks for an instrumental album, the personnel was Tony Klatka, Forrest Buchtel, Dave Bargeron, Bill Tillman, Larry Willis, Danny Trifan, Roy McCurdy and Mike Stern, but that album was never released.
They continue to tour and personnel continue to fluctuate. For a short period the band included a very talented female drummer from Montreal, Sally Chapus. At the end of 1977, David Clayton-Thomas recorded a solo album titled “Clayton” for Abc records, and he was backed by BS&T on that album. In January 1978 they went on a tour to Europe. The band members at that time were, Clayton-Thomas on vocals, Dave Bargeron tuba, Anthony Klatka and Chris Albert trumpet, Gregory Herbert saxophone, Randy Bernsen guitar, Larry Willis keyboards, Neil Stubenhaus bass and Bobby Economou on drums. After a concert in Amsterdam, Gregory Herbert took an overdose of cocaine and died. The band returned home and separated.
In late 1979 David Clayton-Thomas reformed a new Canadian band. Initially it was called “Canada” but changed its name to Blood, Sweat & Tears at management insistence, to open the doors for international tour bookings. On guitar Robert Piltch was recruited, one of Canada's finest young guitarists and his brother David on bass. They had been performing with their father and with the many jazz groups playing around the Toronto scene and played with famous musicians such as Chet Baker, Art Pepper, Zoot Sims, Mose Allison, George Coleman, and many others. The other members were: Bruce Cassidy from Bruce Cassidy Band, on trumpet, and arranger/musical director. Earl Seymour - Saxophone, Flute, Vernon Dorge - Alto, soprano sax, flute, Richard Martinez - Organ, piano, clavinet. Signed to MCA Records in 1980, this incarnation’s first album was called “Nuclear Blues” and featured cover versions of Jimi Hendrix's “Manic Depression” and Henry Glover's blues classic “Drown In My Own Tears”. There is a “Nuclear Blues Live” album from that period. It was recorded live at The Street Scene, Los Angeles, California on October 12, 1980. Robert and David Piltch left shortly after that concert, Richard Martinez and Bruce Cassidy also. They are replaced by Wayne Pedewater on bass, Peter Harris on guitar, Lou Pomanti on keyboards and Mic Gillete on trumpet. There is also a laserdisc called Live at Little Club from this period. That lineup disbanded later the same year. After this the band fades from view for pretty much the next years, which Colomby and Clayton-Thomas occasionally putting together a few live shows here and there.
After a three year layoff
for the birth
of his daughter, David decided to tour again. He teamed up with manager, Larry Dorr,
tour manager with the band. David had no
to the name Blood Sweat & Tears, the named was owned by Bobby
Colomby, but he recruited musicians for a
outfit and went out under his own name. Larry Dorr and David soon found
that the David Clayton-Thomas name could command maybe $2500 a night,
nine ways after commissions and expenses. They tried to keep the
standards as high as possible, but it was hard as musicians left
played appalling clubs, as many as thirty a month, criss-crossing the
in a fifteen passenger van with the equipment in a U-haul trailer,
miles a month. The promoters would sign a contract with David
and then bill it as BS&T anyway. To see the once proud name
of "toilets" all over the country broke David Clayton-Thomas’ heart.
After two years of this, though, Bobby Colomby agreed to "rent" David
the name, because he was being ripped-off every time some sleazy
the name Blood, Sweat & Tears. The change was immediate,
overnight the band's price jumped to $20,000 plus a night. They began
festivals, symphony concerts, and major show rooms - and more
now had the money to hire and keep the best musicians in New York. They recruited musical
Steve Guttman, graduate of Oberlin Conservatory of Music. At Oberlin
he studied trumpet with Gene Young and Charles Moore. Steve then went
York to study with BS&T first lineup member Randy Brecker. Guttman
the musical director for the 70's recording stars
Gloria Gaynor, Evelyn "Champagne" King, and alumnus of the Tito
Puente and Machito big bands. He assembled an exciting lineup of top
musicians. With Steve conducting, Blood, Sweat & Tears began
with prestigious American symphonies like the Detroit, the Houston, and
Oklahoma City Symphony Orchestras.
A revitalized BS&T with his arrangements and under David's leadership came storming back to the concert stages of the world, playing international jazz festivals, symphonies, concert halls and casino show rooms. In the late 80's the personnel of the band stabilized and they became a regular group again. The agreement with Bobby Colomby does not apply to recording. Colomby was not interested in a new album by a group called Blood, Sweat & Tears.
At three February 1994 gigs at New York's Bottom Line, Al Kooper got together with some of the original members of B,S&T billed as “Child is Father to the Man”, since Bobby Colomby owned the name and didn’t let him use it. On the bill were also The Blues Project and his own Rekooperators, including John Simon and Harvey Brooks, with John Sebastian sitting in on harmonica, to perform new versions of 33 years' worth of repertory. The shows were released as a double-cd called “Soul of a Man”. The performance on "I Can't Quit Her" (a song he introduces by saying he hates playing it "except with these guys"—the original B,S&T) and the rest of the '60s repertory has all of the energy one could wish for, and more precision than the group might have achieved in 1968 (and certainly better sound). There are some new arrangements on numbers like "My Days Are Numbered," which features a soaring trumpet duel between Randy Brecker and Lew Soloff. Steve Katz refused to allow his guitar to appear on the release, so his part has been wiped and replaced by Jimmy Vivino and other guest players on both the Blues Project and “Child is Father to the Man” tracks,
In 1994 David Clayton-Thomas and Blood Sweat & Tears horn section of Jerry Sokolow - trumpet, Steve Guttman - trumpet, Tim Ries - Sax and Charlie Gordon - Trombone, made a record with the Hungarian composer and jazz drummer Leslie Mandoki. The album was called "People". In 1997 another album called "People in room no. 8" was released.
In 2002 David recorded tracks for the third "Mandoki" album. The album "Soulmates" was released later the same year. There is also a DVD available from the making of Soulmates.
In 2003 David wrote and recorded a new song called "The Lights Of Broadway". It is a song dedicated to the heroes of 9/11...the song depicts Lady Liberty standing in the harbor, covered with dust and ashes, while uptown the lights of Broadway still bravely shine through the smoke. It was distributed to radio stations across the country and the broadcast royalties go directly to the families of the victims of 9/11. David's decision to donate 100% of his songwriter's royalties to the families, brought an outpouring of help...Producer Billy Terrell donated his services...A major New York recording studio (Sound on Sound) contributed the studio time...singers from the ranks of the NYPD and FDNY made up the chorus....Steve Guttman wrote a brilliant, heartfelt arrangement and the members of Blood Sweat & Tears brought their amazing musicianship to the project.
In 2003 a fourteen song collection of traditional Christmas songs was released by David Clayton-Thomas. The album produced and arranged by BS&T Musical Director Steve Guttman, was called “ The Christmas Album”. Many members of the band appeared on the album.
In April 204 David Clayton-Thomas signed a multi-album recording contract with Justin Time Records, a prestigious Canadian jazz label with worldwide distribution, headquartered in Montreal. The first album that he recorded was called “Aurora”. The album was due for release in February 2005. He was also involved in a recording project with producer Billy Terrell in New York.
David announced. “I intend to spend the
writing new music and collecting songs for my next Justin Time album.
means there will be no Blood Sweat & Tears dates next year. After
of performing and touring with this great band, the time has come to
the group, take a break from the road and get involved in some new
projects. B,S&T has been a wonderful experience... The musicianship
always been superb and I have made friendships that will last a
The ability to create new music, to sing new songs and to record new albums, is what drives me... B,S&T hasn’t recorded in 25 years and is unlikely to record again... meanwhile I have signed a multi-album deal with a great record company (Justin Time) as a solo artist. I have an obligation to support the fine company that made “Aurora” possible.”
This seems to be the end of Blood, Sweat & Tears. All I can say is “Thank you BS&T, it’s be a hell of a good time following you over the years.”
NOTE: Even though David Clayton-Thomas is regarded as the voice of Blood, Sweat & Tears, it is the skill and the musicianship of all those very talented musicians that have passed through the group that have made the greatness of the group.
The strength of this band became their fall. Because the musicianship they had and that they could play all kinds of music at the same high standard, and also did, it simply was not possible to confine them in a category. They were more than a rock band, more than a jazz group, the rock critics disliked the jazz and the jazz critics disdained the rock. Critics love to put bands in a category, and with Blood, Sweat & Tears that was impossible.
I strongly recommend everyone to look up soloalbums by the former members.