This eight-piece group was the brainchild of Al Kooper, former Bob Dylan sideman, Brill Building songsmith and king-pin of The Blues Project, but he had dropped out by the time Blood, Sweat & Tears topped the US album charts in Spring 1969.
Steve Katz and the rest of the band hired Canadian singer David Clayton-Thomas, grafted a jazzy horn section onto a standard rock group chassis, and their jazz-rock fusion found approval in the singles market too, where You’ve Made Me So Very Happy, Spinning Wheel and And When I Die all became million sellers, with their next album also reaching #1.
Their success rate trailed off after a few years, but they certainly blazed a trail for the genre, and for bands such as Chicago.
During a European tour, saxophonist Greg Herbert died of an accidental drug overdose in Amsterdam on 31 January 1978.
Al Kooper’s thoughts on Blood, Sweat and Tears are aired in his outlandishly entertaining autobiography, Backstage Passes and Backstabbing Bastards.
Trombone, flute, keyboards