Eric Kaz

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Eric Kaz is a singer-songwriter. Kaz had many accolades and awards from ASCAP and CMA, top-ten hits in pop and R&B, number one country hits by George Strait and many others, as well as adult contemporary hits, including the number one hit song 'That's What Love is All About' by Michael Bolton.

Biography[edit]

As a small boy in Brooklyn, Eric's parents made him take piano lessons. A poor musician when it came to reading music, it was apparent that he had a good ear, so he constantly invented piano riffs and tunes of his own. Several years later, at the age of 14, his father brought home a guitar and Eric quickly started to teach himself. It was all he ever wanted to do, he practiced day and night and worked long hours. He continued to work at guitar and piano, listening to bluegrass and R&B music, and writing tunes. He first appeared on the popular music scene in the mid-60s playing piano in a band called Children of Paradise with Artie Traum & Steven Soles, prior to which he played in late-night jam sessions in Greenwich Village, occasionally fingerpicking "old vintage Gibson guitars".

Bear provided music for the 1968 film "Greetings" directed by a young Brian De Palma and starring an even younger Robert De Niro. Bear would play in several folk & rock clubs in New York, with Eric doing the vocals. The band would perform a few of their songs, as well as a few of Eric's such as "Tonight, the Sky Is About to Cry". When the first and only album for the Children Of Paradise had come around, they had changed their named to Bear, but at the same time still had the name Children Of Paradise on the album in hopes of cashing in a little on the film. The album was a flop and Bear shortly broke up afterwards.

Eric surfaced again in 1969 as a keyboard player in a revised version of the Blues Magoos, a Bronx-based band that had previously gained some success with the single "(We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet." After one year with the Magoos, and a little work in the Happy and Artie Traum band, Kaz was signed by Atlantic Records as a solo artist. His first album, titled "If You're Lonely", was released in 1972, featuring the song "Cry Like A Rainstorm" later turned into a hit by Bonnie Raitt and Linda Ronstadt, among others. His style is similar to that of Carole King, James Taylor, and Jackson Browne. His second album, Cul-De-Sac, was released in 1974, and marked the end of his short but sweet career as a solo artist. The album very well displayed how Eric's vocal qualities could come off more huskily on tracks such as "There Is No End", and "Going Down Slow", but at the same time more smoothly on "I'll Find The Way".

In 1975 Kaz joined Craig Fuller (ex lead singer of Pure Prairie League who departed due to drafting issues) to form the band American Flyer. The band displayed a country-rock/singer-songwriter sound typical of late 70s-California. Their first album having been released under a self title of "American Flyer" had a fairly good following, and marked a hit (Let Me Down Easy) ranking around #80 on the top 100. Spirit of a Woman, American Flyer's second and final album was released in 1977. In 1978, Kaz released an album with Fuller titled simply Craig Fuller-Eric Kaz. This album was similar to the American Flyer albums and featured contributions by Michael McDonald and J. D. Souther. After several failures with albums (His solo career receiving little to no attention, American Flyer and the Fuller Kaz album being a let down), Eric resorted to writing songs and staying on the low end as a performer. Eric appeared in the 1981 film "They All Laughed", as a background guitarist who was playing folk and country songs. In 1992 Eric and Steve Dorff wrote "I Cross My Heart", a smash hit for George Strait. In 2002 Eric Kaz released "1000 Years Of Sorrow" on Slice Of Life Records. The CD was only released in Japan and is a collection of earlier live tracks, studio recordings, and basement tapes. He continued to perform at miscellaneous clubs in Japan. Recently, it has been stated that Eric is "slowly but surely" accumulating songs for a new solo CD. Information on the said album is very limited.

Music[edit]

Although Eric Kaz never achieved great commercial success as a performer, he has consistently been in the spotlight as a songwriter through the decades. Among his most popular compositions are:

He also provided music, including the memorable theme song, for Brian De Palma's 1970 film Hi, Mom! (starring Robert De Niro).

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Love Has No Pride, info, covered 2010