Blood, Sweat and Tears' first album sold an amazing ten
million copies and launched three gold singles, "You've Made Me So Very Happy,"
"And When I Die" and "Spinning Wheel." The album won an unprecedented five
Grammy awards, including album of the year and best performance by a male
vocalist. Five successive gold albums and three more gold singles, "Hi De Ho," "Lucretia
MacEvil" and "Go Down Gamblin'" followed, and by 1972 Blood, Sweat & Tears
was at the very top of the music industry.
Sweat and Tears, daring and innovative, a fiery fusion of jazz and rock,
blues and the classics . . . This superb band defied all boundaries, performing
with consummate artistry in front of a symphony one night, thousands of rock
fans the next. BS&T played the Metropolitan Opera, the Fillmores, the Newport
Jazz Festival, and Caesar's Palace - all in the same year. It was the first
contemporary band to break through the iron curtain with the historic 1970 tour
of Eastern Europe, and of course headlined at Woodstock, Madison Square Garden,
Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl . . . Blood, Sweat and Tears was the
hottest concert ticket in America.
From the beginning, Blood, Sweat & Tears was a strange
hybrid. The Julliard graduates, with their classical training, felt the band
should aspire to loftier musical goals, and Bartok and Satie became a part of
the repertoire. The Berklee grads were jazz purists, and long improvised solos
became a part of the show. Others were pure rockers whose experience included
"The Blues Project" and Frank Zappa's "Mother's of Invention."
Yet in spite of the success and accolades, the old tensions
and rivalries still existed in the band. Here lies the magic - and the eventual
downfall - of the early band. The Julliard types, embarrassed by the hype of pop
stardom, tried to steer the band in a more classical direction, disdainful of
both jazz and rock. The Berklee boys resented the structure of the classics and
the simplicity of rock and pushed towards a more complex improvisational style.
By the mid-70's, Blood, Sweat and Tears was submerged
in a wave of its own creation. Every record company had its horn bands:
Earth Wind And Fire,
Tower of Power... even the Rolling Stones carried a horn section.
The founding members of Blood, Sweat & Tears began to
drift away to pursue their own musical ambitions. The classical musicians went
on to film scoring and teaching fellowships. The jazz players left to play pure
jazz. One by one they were replaced with an illustrious lineup of renowned
musicians: Joe Henderson, Jaco Pastorius, Mike Stern, Larry Willis, Don Alias,
Gregory Herbert. In concert, the band was a musical powerhouse, but inwardly it
was in turmoil. The unique creative team was gone, so the band took to the road,
playing 300 concerts a year through the 70's. David Clayton-Thomas left the band
twice, exhausted by the brutal tour schedule and frustrated by the lack of
creative time. In 1976, even Bobby Colomby, the sole remaining founding member,
left to become a music executive, and David was the only one left from the glory
They recruited musical director/trumpeter Steve Guttman,
graduate of Oberlin Conservatory of Music, former musical director for the 70's
Gloria Gaynor and Evelyn "Champagne" King, and alumnus of the
Tito Puente and Machito big bands, and he assembled an exciting lineup
of top New York musicians. With Steve conducting, Blood, Sweat & Tears
began performing with prestigious American symphonies like the Detroit, the
Houston, and the Oklahoma City Symphony Orchestras.
Larry Dorr was right. A revitalized Blood, Sweat and Tears
under his direction came storming back to the concert stages of the world,
playing international jazz festivals, symphonies, concert halls and casino show
rooms. The personnel of the band stabilized, and BS&T once again delivered the
same exciting diverse sound that made it such a well-loved part of America's
In 1996, David Clayton-Thomas was inducted into the Canadian
Music Hall of Fame, where he takes his place alongside his country's musical
giants... Oscar Peterson, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young... Artists of legendary
stature around the world.
In 2005, David Clayton-Thomas left the group again. Blood,
Sweat & Tears currently has special guest Chuck Negron performing with them.
Contact Grabow for more information or to book Blood, Sweat &
Tears for your next corporate or private event.