Chris Albert - trumpet; Randy Burnson - guitar; Dave Bargeron - trombone; David Clayton-Thomas - vocals; Bobby Aconamo - drums; Greg Herbert - saxophone; Neil Stubenhouse - bass; Tony Klatka - saxophone, flugelhorn; Larry Willis - keyboards
In 1969, when Blood Sweat and Tears released their second, eponymous album, America witnessed a brave new mix of big band jazz and rhythm 'n' blues influenced rock 'n' roll. It seemed as though they could be one of the biggest bands of all time, and they had the hits to prove it - songs like "You Made Me So Very Happy," "Spinning Wheel," "And When I Die," Hi-De-Ho" and a contemporary re-make of the Billie Holliday classic "God Bless The Child."
In less than two years, they would go on to sell over 15 million albums and singles, spearheaded by the powerful baritone of singer David Clayton-Thomas, an unknown Canadian who joined the band in mid-1968 after founder Al Kooper departed during a struggle for control of the band. BS&T, along with Chicago, veritably launched the jazz-rock movement, and had three hugely successful albums between 1969 and 1972. By 1973, however, internal hassles and politics were pulling the band apart.
David Clayton-Thomas, whose powerful voice helped give the band their wide radio exposure, left in 1974 to pursuer a solo career. The group carried on for three years with three different lead singers, and gradually suffered the loss of all its original members. By the time Clayton-Thomas returned, just prior to the recording of this show, the band was essentially brand new, and the politics that had caused him to leave three years earlier had become a non issue.
This concert, recorded in 1977 at New York's Bottom Line for the King Biscuit Flower Hour, was made long after the band stopped charting hits, and when no one from the original lineup remained. Still, there were enough of the transitional musicians - and the unmistakable voice of David Clayton-Thomas - from the band's heyday left to give them an authentic BS&T sound.