Steve Gregory

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Steve Gregory
London, England
InstrumentsSaxophone, flute
Associated actsDennis Bovell Dub Band, Linton Kwesi Johnson

Steve Gregory (born 1945) is an English jazz saxophonist and composer. He plays tenor, alto, soprano and baritone saxophone as well as the flute.

Biography and career[edit]

Gregory was born in London. At St. Paul's School he learned guitar and piano and played clarinet in the school orchestra. He turned down a place at the prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama to become a professional musician. Soon he was playing with The Alan Price Set and was in demand for session work, playing for people like Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Fleetwood Mac and others. Alongside Bud Beadle he provided the saxophone for the 1969 hit "Honky Tonk Women" by The Rolling Stones. He also played with Georgie Fame and Geno Washington. Gregory began to branch out, continuing to play with Georgie Fame but also recording and playing with bands like Ginger Baker's Air Force, Gonzalez, Linda Lewis, Boney M. and Rocky Sharpe and The Replays. Gregory also played saxophone on Andy Fairweather Low's 1975 album, La Booga Rooga.[1] He also spent some time in Nigeria, playing with Fela Kuti at his Afrika Shrine.

In the 1980s, Gregory decided to go freelance. He took on television work and continued with session work. He played the legendary saxophone line on George Michael’s hit "Careless Whisper",[2] the saxophone solo that kicked off George Michael's immaculate first solo single is every bit as iconic as the one in Baker Street. It's an arresting melody, written by George Michael himself, and one that proved so difficult to capture to his satisfaction that he auditioned 10 saxophonists, all of whom struggled to play all the notes with the right amount of fluidity and still breathe. Steve Gregory was the last to try, and finally met George's demands. Gregory also worked with artists such as Bryn Haworth, Chris Rea, Alison Moyet, Freddie King, Maxi Priest, China Crisis, Queen (played solo on "One Year of Love (song)") and Amazulu. He also was member of the 1983/84 world reunion tour of The Animals.

In the 1990s, Gregory played with Wet Wet Wet, Van Morrison, and then joined the Dennis Bovell Dub Band, touring around the world with Linton Kwesi Johnson. He released his first solo album, an acid/jazz/fusion set, Bushfire, on LKJ Records featuring Georgie Fame and John Deacon from Queen.

Gregory occasionally performs with the jazz band Pastiche.[3]


  • Bushfire, (1994) LKJ Records: LKJ CD 011


  1. ^ "La Booga Rooga - Andy Fairweather Low | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-03-04.
  2. ^ Ellis, Lucy & Sutherland, Bryony (1998) The Complete Guide to the Music of George Michael, Omnibus Press, ISBN 978-0-7119-6822-6, p. 25
  3. ^ "Pastiche Band". Retrieved 16 February 2015.