Stuff (band)

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Stuff
Origin New York City, United States
Genres Jazz-funk
Years active 1970s - 1980s
Labels A&M Records, Warner Bros. Records
Past members
Eric Gale in July 1976
Cornell Dupree in July 1976

Stuff was an American, New York City-based jazz-funk band active in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The members were Gordon Edwards (bass), Richard Tee (keyboards), Eric Gale (guitar), Cornell Dupree (guitar), Chris Parker (drums), and later Steve Gadd (drums).[note 1]

History[edit]

Initially called The Encyclopedia of Soul, Edwards describes how the band was founded:[1]

"I was contracting and playing studio sessions, and hired Cornell for many of the dates – so we started recruiting for the band. One day at Rudy Van Gelder’s – I remember it was a hell of a job; it was for Queen Esther Marrow, great singer. George Benson was on the job, Bernard Purdie, and Richard Tee on keyboards. Esther asked me if she could use the band for a club date she had lined up – a club called Mikell's in New York City. We did play there, and Richard Tee stopped by one time and he started coming every night. We only worked Monday through Thursday, and Mikell’s was packed, wall to wall, round the block."

After parting ways with Esther the band returned to play there every week:[1]

"Steve Gadd came by one night to sit in with us, as did Eric Gale, and they both became a part of the band. We were rolling heavy, and one night I was approached by Michael Lang, the gentleman who put on Woodstock, who said he was sure he could get us a record deal – were we interested. Sure enough Warner Bros. flew in from California to hear us live. They liked us, but we couldn’t use the name The Encyclopedia of Soul – it was too long. I remember we were in a diner that was on the corner by Atlantic Records one day; there was me, Michael Lang, Cornell Dupree and Erma Dupree and we were trying to decide what we would call the band. It was Erma who said, “You know Gordon, you always call everybody stuff, I don’t care who it is. You should call the band STUFF."

Stuff developed a danceable rhythm and blues and funk sound, the likes of which had not been heard since the days of the Harlem Swing Bands of the 40s and 50s. Individually and collectively the members of Stuff became some of the most sought after session musicians of that era, playing with a stellar array of artists from Aretha Franklin to John Lennon to Paul Simon to name but three; they backed Joe Cocker during his world tour to promote his Stingray album, performing with Cocker on NBC's Saturday Night Live in its second season. The band released five albums between 1975 and 1980, all of which went Gold; More Stuff earned a Grammy Nomination. Stuff's first album was produced by Herb Lovelle in 1976 and went platinum in Japan.[2]

Stuff was associated with Mikell's, the New York jazz club where session musicians would meet up for jam sessions with visiting soul, jazz and funk stars.[3]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Live albums[edit]

  • Live Stuff (1978)
  • Live in New York (1980)
  • Live East (1981) (Japanese Bootleg)
  • Live at Montreux 1976 On DVD and CD ( Japanese release, 2007), (US and European release, 2008)

Compilations[edit]

  • Best Stuff (1981)
  • The Right Stuff (1996) (Warner Brothers)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Gadd has confirmed on a recent[vague] DVD that Chris Parker was in the lineup first.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Liner notes for the 2008 Eagle Rock release Stuff - Live in Montreux 1976
  2. ^ "Stuff: Information from Answers.com". Answers.com. Retrieved 2011-11-04. 
  3. ^ Pareles, Jon (January 24, 2004). "For a Night, the Sweet Sounds of Mikell's". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-03-27.