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People living anywhere other than southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, or New York in the '70s missed the Catalyst experience. A four-man jazz combo from Philadelphia, the band played a blend of avant-garde, contemporary bop, soul, and funk at the dawn of the big fusion explosion. The original members were Eddie Green (keyboards, vocals), Sherman Ferguson (drums, percussion, marimba), Odean Pope (sax, flute, oboe), and Al Johnson (bass). Tyrone Brown replaced Johnson after Catalyst's self-titled debut album on Cobblestone Records in 1972. Producer Skip Drinkwater discovered them playing at the Aqua Lounge in West Philly; this resulted in a contract with Cobblestone Records, with Drinkwater producing. Green was a disciple of the Bud Powell school of pianism, and was instructed on chord changes by Powell's brother, Richard. Pope was tutored by Ray Bryant, Benny Golson, and others; strains of John Coltrane are revealed when the aggressive sax player expands. Ferguson was a bop drummer whose effortless tempo changes and impeccable timing kept Catalyst tight. Johnson, who joined Weather Report after Catalyst's first album, was self-taught, but influenced by classical music.
- All Music
item # 28579
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