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Blood, Sweat & Tears (also known as "BS&T") is an Americanmarker music group, originally formed in 1967 in New York Citymarker. Since its beginnings in 1967, the band has gone through numerous iterations with varying personnel and has encompassed a multitude of musical styles. What the band is most known for, from its start, is the fusing of rock, blues, pop music, horn arrangements and jazz improvisation into a hybrid that came to be known as "jazz-rock". Unlike "jazz fusion" bands, which tend toward virtuostic displays of instrumental facility and some experimentation with electric instruments, the songs of Blood, Sweat & Tears merged the stylings of rock, pop and R&B/soul music with big band, while also adding elements of 20th Century Classical and small combo jazz traditions.

The Al Kooper era

Al Kooper, Jim Fielder, Fred Lipsius, Randy Brecker, Jerry Weiss, Dick Halligan, Steve Katz, and Bobby Colomby formed the original band. The creation of the group was fueled by the "brass-rock" ideas of The Buckinghams and its producer, James William Guercio, as well as the early 1960s Roulette-era Maynard Ferguson Orchestra (according to Kooper's autobiography).

"Blood, Sweat & Tears" was the name chosen by Al Kooper, inspired by both the 1963 album with this title by Johnny Cash and after a late-night gig in which Kooper played with a bloody hand. Kooper was the group's initial bandleader, having insisted on that position based on his experiences with The Blues Project, his previous band with Steve Katz, which had been organized as an egalitarian collective. Jim Fielder was from Frank Zappa's Mothers Of Invention and had played briefly with Buffalo Springfield. But undoubtedly, Kooper's fame as a high-profile contributor to various historic sessions of Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, and others was the catalyst for the prominent debut of Blood, Sweat & Tears in the musical counterculture of the mid-sixties .

Al, Bobby, Steve & Jim did a few shows as a quartet at the Cafe Au Go Gomarker in New York City in September 1967 opening for Moby Grape . Fred Lipsius then joined the others two months later. A few more shows were played as a quintet, including one at the Fillmore Eastmarker in New York. Lipsius then recruited the other three, who were New York jazz horn players he knew. The final lineup debuted late November ’67 at The Scene in NYC. The band was a hit with the audience, who liked the innovative fusion of jazz with acid rock and psychedelia. After signing to Columbia Records, the group released perhaps one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the late 1960s, Child Is Father to the Man, featuring the Harry Nilsson song, "Without Her", and perhaps Kooper's most memorable blues number, "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know". The album cover was considered quite innovative showing the band members sitting and standing with child-sized versions of themselves. Characterized by Kooper's penchant for studio gimmickry, the album slowly picked up in sales amidst growing artistic differences between the founding members. Colomby and Katz wanted to move Kooper exclusively to keyboard and composing duties, while hiring a stronger vocalist for the group.

The music of Blood, Sweat & Tears slowly achieved commercial success alongside similarly configured ensembles such as Chicago and the Electric Flag. Kooper was forced out of the group and became a record producer for the Columbia label, but not before arranging some songs that would be on the next BS&T album. The group's trumpeters, Randy Brecker and Jerry Weiss, also left after the album was released, and were replaced by Lew Soloff and Chuck Winfield.Brecker joined Horace Silver's band with his brother Michael, and together they eventually formed their own horn-dominated musical outfits, Dreams and The Brecker Brothers. Jerry Weiss went on to start the similarly-styled group Ambergris.

The David Clayton-Thomas era

Colomby and Katz then started looking for singers, considering Stephen Stills and Laura Nyro before deciding upon David Clayton-Thomas, a Canadianmarker singer, born in Surrey, England. Reportedly, folk singer Judy Collins had seen him perform at a New York City club and was so taken and moved by his performance that she told her friends Bobby Colomby and Steve Katz about him (knowing that they were looking for a new lead singer to front the band). With her prodding, they came to see him perform and were so impressed with him that Clayton-Thomas was offered to become the lead singer of a re-constituted Blood Sweat & Tears. Halligan took up the organ chores and Jerry Hyman joined on trombone. New trumpeters Lew Soloff and Chuck Winfield brought the band up to nine total members.

Blood, Sweat & Tears, the group's self-titled second album, was produced by James William Guercio and released in 1969. The album was much more pop-oriented, featuring decidedly fewer compositions from within the band. The record quickly hit the top of the charts, winning Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards over The Beatles' Abbey Road, among other nominees. Blood, Sweat & Tears spawned three major hit singles: a cover of Berry Gordy and Brenda Holloway's "You've Made Me So Very Happy" (US #2), Clayton-Thomas' "Spinning Wheel" (US #2), and a version of Laura Nyro's "And When I Die" (US #2). The commercial and critical acclaim enjoyed by the band in 1969 culminated in an appearance at the Woodstock Festivalmarker, in which the band enjoyed headliner status.

Arguably, as a result of Al Kooper's departure, Blood, Sweat & Tears had difficulty maintaining its status as a counterculture icon at a time when record company executives deemed this characteristic important as a tool to lure young consumers. This was compounded by a United States Department of Statemarker-sponsored tour of Eastern Europe in 1970. Any voluntary association with the government was highly unpopular at the time and the band was ridiculed for it. In retrospect, it is now known that the State Department subtly requested the tour in exchange for more amicability on the issuance of a visa to Clayton-Thomas.

After returning to the U.S., the group released Blood, Sweat & Tears 3; which was another popular success, spawning hit singles with a cover of Carole King's "Hi-De-Ho" and another Clayton-Thomas composition, "Lucretia MacEvil". While this was a successful attempt to re-create the amalgam of styles found on the previous album, the band once again depended almost exclusively on cover material. Album reviews sometimes focused solely upon the band's willingness to work with the U.S. State Department, without bothering to discuss the actual music. Compounding the image problems of the band was a decision to play at Caesars Palacemarker on the Las Vegas Stripmarker, widely seen at the time as a mainstream venue for acts that did not engage in radical politics. In 1970, the band provided music for the soundtrack of the film comedy The Owl and the Pussycat , further damaging the group's underground reputation.

Following this period of controversy, the group reconvened with jazz writer Don Heckman serving as their producer and, with Dave Bargeron replacing Jerry Hyman, recorded material that would comprise their fourth album, BS&T 4. For the first time since the first album, Blood, Sweat & Tears presented a repertoire of songs composed almost entirely from within the group. Included on the album is a cover of former member Al Kooper's "Holy John (John The Baptist)". Loaded with hooks and a wide variety of moods (featuring such songs as "Go Down Gamblin'", "Lisa Listen To Me", "High on a Mountain", "Redemption"), Blood, Sweat & Tears 4 broke into the album charts, resulting in a gold record for the group. Unfortunately, none of the singles from the album managed to land in the Top 30 on any of the singles charts, and the period after the release of the fourth album began the group's commercial decline.

The Jerry Fisher era

Difficulties arose inside the group between its pop-rock and jazz factions, with Clayton-Thomas refusing to pick sides and eventually choosing to leave to pursue a solo career in early January 1972. He was briefly replaced by Bobby Doyle, and then Jerry Fisher who went on to front the next generation of Blood, Sweat & Tears. Fred Lipsius left and was replaced by jazz legend Joe Henderson (who did not stay long enough to record), before Lou Marini settled into the new lineup. Another founding member, Dick Halligan, also departed, replaced by jazz pianist Larry Willis, and Swedishmarker guitarist Georg Wadenius joined as lead guitarist around the same time. Amidst the personnel changes, a Greatest Hits album was released, which hit the top 20 and eventually went gold. This record would be the band's final gold album.

During this period of time, a proliferation of bands employing the jazz-rock stylings of the group began to compete in the popular music marketplace. Among these groups were Chase, Ides of March and Lighthouse, offering testimony to the legacy of Blood, Sweat & Tears.

The new edition of Blood, Sweat & Tears released New Blood, which found the group moving into a more overtly jazz-fusion repertoire. The album broke through the top-40 charts (the last BS&T LP to do so) and spawned a single ("So Long Dixie", chart peak: 44) that received some airplay. Also included on the record was a cover version of Herbie Hancock's "Maiden Voyage," featuring the voice/guitar soloing of Georg Wadenius.

In mid-1973, Katz, who was growing increasingly uncomfortable with the group's leaning towards jazz fusion, decided to leave. Winfield departed as well and was replaced by Tom Malone.Blood, Sweat & Tears' next album, No Sweat (1973), continued in a jazz-fusion vein and featured intricate horn work. The 1974 release Mirror Image saw the addition of vocalist/saxophonist Jerry LaCroix (formerly of Edgar Winter's White Trash), sax player Bill Tillman, bassist Ron McClure and the exodus of Tom Malone and longtime members Lew Soloff and Jim Fielder. This recording features the adoption of a sound pitched between Philly Soul and the mid-1970s albums by Herbie Hancock's Headhunters, along with aspirations to Chick Corea's jazz-fusion group Return to Forever.


Personnel changes continued (see roster below), capped by the return of David Clayton-Thomas at the close of 1974 and the release of the comeback album New City in 1975. This album charted higher than any of their previous albums since New Blood. This was chiefly the result of an entry in the singles charts with a cover of the Beatles' "Got To Get You Into My Life". But it still did not sell as well as albums from the group's 1969-71 commercial peak period. They released a final album for Columbia Records, More Than Ever, before the last original band member, Bobby Colomby, left in 1976. The band then signed a new contract with ABC Records, with Colomby serving as the next album's executive producer and retaining sole ownership of the group's name, despite his no longer appearing on stage with them. Their sole album for ABC, Brand New Day, did not fare well in the charts and the group undertook a European tour in early 1978 to promote the album that ended abruptly after saxophonist Gregory Herbert died of a drug overdose in Amsterdam on January 31, 1978. Rocked by this shocking turn of events, the group returned home and temporarily ceased activity.

In 1979, David Clayton-Thomas decided to continue Blood, Sweat & Tears with an entirely new lineup that consisted of Canadianmarker musicians. The group signed to Avenue Records subsidiary label LAX (MCA Records), and with producer and arranger Jerry Goldstein, recorded the album Nuclear Blues. The album was yet another attempt to reinvent the group, showcasing the band in a funk sound environment that recalled such acts as Tower of Power and LAX labelmates War (with whom BS&T did several shows in 1980). The album, unfortunately, was regarded by many Blood, Sweat & Tears fans as uncharacteristic of the group's best work. Following more touring, including Australia, this incarnation of the group disbanded in 1981.

Since he did not own the rights to the Blood Sweat & Tears name, Clayton-Thomas attempted to restart his failed solo career in 1983 after taking some time off. This caused complications during his initial months on the road when promoters would book his group and instead use the Blood, Sweat & Tears name on the marquee. Consequently, his manager at the time, Larry Dorr, negotiated a licensing deal with Bobby Colomby in 1984 for rights to tour using the band's name. For 20 years afterwards, Clayton-Thomas toured the concert circuit with a constantly changing roster of players as "Blood, Sweat & Tears" until his final departure in 2004. Clayton-Thomas now does occasional shows using only his name in promotional efforts. At last count, the overall number of BS&T members since the beginning is up around 130 total people—roster below.

On March 12 & 13, 1993, Al Kooper organized two shows at the Bottom Line in NYC that were advertised as "A Silver Anniversary Celebration Of The Classic Album The Child Is Father To The Man", which featured Al, Randy Brecker, Jim Fielder, Steve Katz and Fred Lipsius playing together for the first time in twenty five years, accompanied by Anton Fig, Tom Malone, Lew Soloff, John Simon and Jimmy Vivino, as well as a two woman chorus and string section.

The following year, in early February 1994, Al returned to the Bottom Line for his 50th birthday celebration in which he played with members of his new band plus the Blues Project & BS&T. The BS&T lineup at this show was the same as the 1993 Silver Anniversary show, with the exception of Will Lee sitting in for Fielder and John Sebastian (ex-Loving Spoonful) contributing harmonica. Colomby would not allow Kooper to use the name Blood, Sweat & Tears, so the two reunions were billed as "Child Is Father To The Man". This second show appeared as the CD Soul of a Man in 1995. According to page 20 of the CD's liner notes, Steve Katz elected not to allow his performances onto the CD, which were digitally replaced by Jimmy Vivino. Bassist Jim Fielder is said to have added some parts to the CD as well.

Current status

Blood, Sweat & Tears continues its heavy touring schedule throughout the world with its current line-up of members, some of whom have been with the band previously during the past two decades. Under the direction of Larry Dorr and founding member Bobby Colomby, the band has enjoyed something of a resurgence. Blood, Sweat & Tears donates money through its "Elsie Monica Colomby" music scholarship fund to deserving schools and students who need help in prolonging their musical education, such as the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The year 2007 witnessed the band's first world tour in a decade. Since late 2005, the band often does shows backing up former Three Dog Night singer Chuck Negron, where the group will play its own set and then another set that includes Chuck's Three Dog Night hits. 2008 brings with it the anticipated return of founding member Steve Katz. The year is also the 40th touring anniversary, and surprise alumni are expected to be joining the band throughout the year.

All of the band's albums, with the exception of Brand New Day, are currently available on compact disc. BS&T's first four albums were reissued by Sony Records in remastered editions (typically with bonus material), except for its third album, which has been reissued by Mobile Fidelity. The later Columbia albums have been reissued by Wounded Bird Records, and Rhino Records has reissued Nuclear Blues. Brand New Day was issued on CD in Russiamarker in 2002, although the disc may not have received authorization from copyright holders.

Roster of member musicians

Al Kooper : keyboards, vocals (1967-1968)Randy Brecker : trumpet, flugelhorn (1967-1968)Jerry Weiss : trumpet, flugelhorn, backing vocals (1967-1968)Fred Lipsius : alto sax, keyboards (1967-1972)Dick Halligan : keyboards, trombone, horns, flute, backing vocals (1967-1972)Steve Katz : guitar, harmonica, lute, mandolin, vocals (1967-1973, 2008-)Jim Fielder : bass, guitar, backing vocals (1967-1974)Bobby Colomby : drums, percussion, backing vocals (1967-1977)David Clayton-Thomas : vocals, guitar (1968-1972, 1974-1981, 1984-2004)Lew Soloff : trumpet, flugelhorn (1968-1974)Chuck Winfield : trumpet, flugelhorn, backing vocals (1968-1973)Jerry Hyman : trombones, recorder (1968-1970)Dave Bargeron : trombone, tuba, horns, bass, backing vocals (1970-1978)Bobby Doyle : vocals, piano (1972)Joe Henderson : tenor sax (1972)Lou Marini Jr. : tenor & soprano sax, flute (1972-1974)Larry Willis : keyboards (1972-1978)Georg Wadenius : guitar, vocals (1972-1975)Jerry Fisher : vocals (1972-1974)Tom Malone : trombone, trumpet, flugelhorn, alto sax, bass (1973-1974)Jerry LaCroix : vocals, alto sax, flute, harmonica (1974)Ron McClure : bass (1974-1975, 1976)Tony Klatka : trumpet, horns (1974-1978)Bill Tillman : alto sax, flute, clarinet, backing vocals (1974-1977)Luther Kent : vocals (1974-1976)Joe Giorgianni : trumpet, flugelhorn (1974-1975)Jaco Pastorius : bass (1975-1976)Steve Khan : guitar (1975) Mike Stern : guitar (1975-1977)Keith Jones : bass (1976)Danny Trifan : bass (1976-1977)Forrest Buchtell : trumpet (1975-1977)Don Alias : percussion (1975-1976)Roy McCurdy : drums (1976-1977)Jeff Richman : guitar (1976 fill in for Stern)Randy Bernsen : guitar (1977)Barry Finnerty : guitar (1977-1978)Neil Stubenhaus : bass (1977-1978)Gregory Herbert : saxophone (1977-1978)Michael Lawrence ; trumpet (1977)Chris Albert : trumpet (1977-1978) Bobby Economou : drums (1977-1978, 1979-1981, 1994-1995) Kenny Marco : guitar (1979) David Piltch : bass (1979-1980) Joe Sealy : keyboards (1979) Bruce Cassidy : trumpet, flugelhorn (1979-1980) Earl Seymour : sax, flute (1979-1981) Steve Kennedy : sax, flute (1979) Sally Chappis : drums (1979) Harvey Kogan : sax, flute (1979) Jack Scarangella : drums (1979) Vernon Dorge : sax, flute (1979-1981) Robert Piltch : guitar (1979-1980) Richard Martinez : keyboards (1979-1980) Wayne Pedziwiatr : bass (1980-1981) Peter Harris : guitar (1980-1981) Lou Pomanti : keyboards (1980-1981) Mic Gillette : trumpet (1980-1981) James Kidwell : guitar (1984-1985) Jeff Andrews : bass (1984-1985) Taras Kovayl : keyboards (1984-1985) Tim Ouimette : trumpet, horns (1984-1985) Mario Cruz : sax, flute (1984-1985) Ricky Sebastian : drums (1984-1985) Steve Guttman : trumpet (1985-2004)Dave Gellis : guitar (1985-1990, 1996, 1998 fill in, 2005- )Ray Peterson : bass (1985-1986) Scott Kreitzer : sax, flute (1985-1986) Teddy Mulet : trombone (1985-1986), trumpet (2005- ) Barry Danielian : trumpet (1985-1986) Richard Sussman : keyboards (1985-1987) Randy Andos : trombone (1986) Tom Timko : sax, flute (1986-1987, 1995, 1998-2001, 2005-2008)Tom DeFaria : drums (1985-1986) John Conte : bass (1986-1987) Steve Conte : guitar (1986 fill in) Jeff Gellis : bass (1987-1990) Dave Panichi : trombone (1987-1988, 1997-1998) Glenn McClelland : keyboards (1987-1993, 1998, 2005- ) David Riekenberg : sax, flute (1987- 1990, 1995-1998) Jerry Sokolov : trumpet (1987-1994) Graham Hawthorne : drums (1987-1988, 1989-1991) Van Romaine : drums (1988-1989) Neil Capolongo : drums (1991-1993) Peter Abbott : drums (fill in early 90s) Charley Gordon : trombone (1987-1994, 2001)Wayne Schuster : sax, flute (1990-1991) Larry DeBari : guitar, vocals (1990-1997) Gary Foote : bass (1990-1994, 1996-2004, 2005- ) Chuck Fisher : sax, flute (1991) Jack Bashcow : sax, flute (1992) Tim Ries : sax, flute (1992-1993, 1993-1995) Charlie Cole : sax, flute (1993) Matt King keyboards (1994-1998) Mike Mancini : keyboards (fill in 80s/90s) Franck Amsallem keyboards (fill in mid 90s) Henry Hey : keyboards (fill in mid 90s) Ted Kooshian keyboards (fill in mid 90s) Cliff Korman keyboards (fill in mid 90s) Mike DuClos bass : (1994-1996) Jonathan Peretz : drums (1995-1997) Craig Johnson : trumpet (1994-1998) Matt Milmerstadt drums : (1995 , 1998) Tom Guarna : guitar (1997-1998) Jon Owens : trumpet (1998-2000) Chuck Pillow : sax, flute (fill in 1998) Brian Delaney : drums (1998, 2001) Dave Stahl : trumpet (fill in 1995-1998) Winston Byrd : trumpet (fill in 1998) Dave Pietro : sax, flute (fill in 1998) Dale Kirkland : trombone (1995-1996, 1998, 1999-2001, 2002-2006 Pat Hallaran : trombone (1998-1999) James Fox : guitar (1998-2000) Dan Zank : keyboards (1998-2000) Zach Danziger : drums (1998-2001) Joe Mosello : trumpet (2000-2002) Phil Magallanes : keyboards (2000-2001) Andrea Valentini : drums (2001- )Darcy Hepner : sax, flute (1999 fill in, 2001-2004) John Samorian : keyboards (2001-2003) Orin Clark : accordion (2001-2003) Matt Mollica : banjo (2001-2003) Nick Marchione : trumpet (2002-2004) Eric Cortright : keyboards (2003-2004) Leo Huppert: bass (2004) Steve Jankowski: trumpet (2005- ) Rob Paparozzi: vocals, harmonica (2005- ) Scottie Wallace: vocals (alternating with Rob P. 2005-2006) Thomas Conner : vocals (fill in 2006 & 2007) Jens Wendelboe: trombone (2006- ) Chris Tedesco : trumpet (fill in for Mulet 2006-2007) Brian Steel : trumpet (fill in for Mulet 2008) Bill Churchill : sax (fill in for Timko 2008) Tim Virnig : bass (fill in for Foote)

(Roster provided by Jim Mullen)

Current roster

Steve Katz : vocalsRob Paparozzi : vocals, harmonica Dave Gellis : guitar Glenn McClelland : keyboards Gary Foote : bass Andrea Valentini : drums Teddy Mulet : trumpet Steve Jankowski : trumpet Jens Wendelboe : trombone Tom Timko : sax


  • Child Is Father to the Man (1968) Producer: John Simon (RIAA: Gold) #47
  • Blood, Sweat & Tears (1968) Producer: James William Guercio, 1970 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. (RIAA: 4 x Multi-Platinum) #1
  • Blood, Sweat & Tears 3 (1970) Producer: Bobby Colomby and Roy Halee (RIAA: Gold) #1
  • Blood, Sweat & Tears 4 (1971) Producers: Don Heckman, Roy Halee and Bobby Colomby (RIAA: Gold) #10
  • New Blood (1972) Producer: Bobby Colomby #32
  • No Sweat (1973) Producer: Steve Tyrell #72
  • Mirror Image (1974) Producer: Henry Cosby #149
  • New City (1975) Producer: Jimmy Ienner #47
  • More Than Ever (1976) Producer: Bob James
  • Brand New Day (1977) Producers: Bobby Colomby and Roy Halee
  • Nuclear Blues (1980) Producer: Jerry Goldstein
  • Latin Fire (1985) [recorded 1980/81]
  • Live And Improvised (1991) [recorded 1975] Producer: Bobby Colomby. Associate producer: Jimmy Ienner
  • Live (1994) [recorded live at The Street Scene, Los Angeles, on October 12, 1980.)

Compilation Albums:
  • Greatest Hits (1972) (RIAA: 2 x Multi-Platinum) #19
  • Super Hits (1998)
  • What Goes Up! The Best of Blood, Sweat & Tears (1995) Compilation producer: Bob Irwin
  • You've made me so happy (2001) Compilation: Sony Special Products
  • The Collection (2003) Compilation: Sony/Columbia

  • The Owl and the Pussy Cat (Soundtrack) (1970) Producer: Thomas Z. Shepard

  • "I Can't Quit Her" (1968)
  • "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know" (1968)
  • "You've Made Me So Very Happy" (1969) #2
  • "Spinning Wheel" (1969) (Grammy Award-winning) #2
  • "And When I Die" (1969) #2
  • "Hi-De-Ho" (1970) #14
  • "Lucretia MacEvil" (1970) #29
  • "Lisa, Listen to Me" (1971) #73
  • "Go Down Gamblin'" (1971) #32
  • "So Long Dixie" (1972) #44


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