Stuff was an American, New York City-based jazz-funk band active in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The members were Gordon Edwards (bass), Richard Tee (keyboards), Eric Gale (guitar), Cornell Dupree (guitar), Chris Parker (drums), and later Steve Gadd ...
Stuff was an American, New York City-based jazz-funk band active in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The members were Gordon Edwards (bass), Richard Tee (keyboards), Eric Gale (guitar), Cornell Dupree (guitar), Chris Parker (drums), and later Steve Gadd (drums). (Gadd has confirmed on a recent DVD that Chris Parker was in the lineup first.)
Initially called The Encyclopedia of Soul, in his liner notes for the 2008 Eagle Rock release Stuff - Live in Montreux 1976 Edwards describes how the band was founded:
I was contracting and playing studio sessions, and hired Cornell for many of the dates – so we started recruiting for the band. One day at Rudy Van Gelder's – I remember it was a hell of a job; it was for Queen Esther Marrow, great singer. George Benson was on the job, Bernard Purdie, and Richard Tee on keyboards. Esther asked me if she could use the band for a club date she had lined up – a club called Mikell's, (on the corner of 97th and Columbus Avenue) in New York City.) We did play there, and Richard Tee stopped by one time and he started coming every night. We only worked Monday through Thursday, and Mikell's was packed, wall to wall, round the block.
After parting ways with Esther the band returned to play there every week.
Steve Gadd came by one night to sit in with us, as did Eric Gale, and they both became a part of the band. We were rolling heavy, and one night I was approached by Michael Lang, the gentleman who put on Woodstock, who said he was sure he could get us a record deal – were we interested. Sure enough Warner Bros. flew in from California to hear us live. They liked us, but we couldn't use the name The Encyclopedia of Soul – it was too long. I remember we were in a diner that was on the corner by Atlantic Records one day; there was me, Michael Lang, Cornell Dupree and Erma Dupree and we were trying to decide what we would call the band. It was Erma who said, "You know Gordon, you always call everybody stuff, I don't care who it is. You should call the band STUFF.
Stuff developed a danceable Rhythm and blues and Funk sound, the likes of which had not been heard since the days of the Harlem Swing Bands of the 40s and 50s. Individually and collectively the members of Stuff became some of the most sought after session musicians of that era, playing with a stellar array of artists from Aretha Franklin to John Lennon to Paul Simon to name but three; they backed Joe Cocker during his world tour to promote his Stingray album, performing with Cocker on NBC's Saturday Night Live in its second season. The band released five albums between 1975 and 1980, all of which went Gold; More Stuff earned a Grammy Nomination. Stuff's first album was produced by Herb Lovelle in 1976 and went platinum in Japan.
Stuff was closely associated with the New York jazz club Mikell's, where the city's top session musicians would meet up for jam sessions with visiting soul, jazz and funk stars.
Later, because of the intricate rhythms many of his newer songs had developed, Paul Simon assembled an all-star band of mostly jazz heroes. He attained three fifths of the Stuff band (Steve Gadd on drums, Richard Tee on keyboards, and Eric Gale on guitar), as well as future King Crimson/Peter Gabriel bassist, Tony Levin.